Story by: Maggie Roetker on October 13, 2016
An online resource now in its third year of use in Jefferson County, Kentucky, schools is helping improve elementary school students’ focus and classroom engagement as well as teach healthy lifestyle habits in schools and in homes. GoNoodle inspires, measures and rewards kids when they take part in short bursts of physical activity through online videos and games. It is available to teachers and parents thanks to support from the children’s hospital and Passport Health Plan.
“Teachers see immediate results after using GoNoodle,” said Tamara Darden, principal at Byck Elementary School in Louisville. “Students get some exercise and then are more settled. Teachers can even incorporate it into lesson plans.”
Reactions such as this back up a study by Active Living Research that found the results of physical activity in the classroom are immediate, leading to better concentration on tasks and reduced instances of inappropriate behavior.
According to the “Kids Movement Index” released by GoNoodle in June 2016, Louisville ranked No. 2 in minutes of movement for kids’ physical activity among large cities. During the 2015-16 school year, Louisville students achieved 17.8 million minutes of GoNoodle activity, thanks largely to Jefferson County Public Schools use.
The Kids Movement Index ranks top U.S. cities and states where elementary school children engaged in the most physical activity during the 2015-16 school year. This shows that teachers — and parents — are using GoNoodle to turn screen time into active time. GoNoodle is available to families for home use, promoting movement outside the classroom, too.
“One in five kids in our community is obese, in large part due to increased sedentary behaviors like excessive screen time,” said Jenita Lyons, manager of health and wellness for the Children’s Hospital Foundation Office of Child Advocacy at the children’s hospital. “Childhood is the time we establish lifelong habits, so inactive kids often grow up to be inactive adults, potentially leading to obesity and chronic health conditions.”
“Too many Kentucky schoolchildren get less than 60 minutes of physical activity each day. To improve these numbers, Passport Health Plan has been working with many hospitals and school systems around the commonwealth since 2014 to bring the GoNoodle program into classrooms and help our children improve their health and quality of life,” said Mark B. Carter, CEO, Passport Health Plan. “We are proud to join the children’s hospital to bring the GoNoodle program to all of Jefferson County’s elementary schools. Together, we can help all Kentuckians live healthier lives.”
“GoNoodle helps make our children healthier and stronger,” said Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer. “And when our children are stronger, our whole city is stronger.”
“Regular physical activity is critically important to the healthy development of kids. And, we know healthy kids do better in school,” said Scott McQuigg, CEO and co-founder of GoNoodle. “Teachers are using the power of movement to improve student performance, and parents are using GoNoodle to get kids moving at home. Thanks to the generous support of the children’s hospital and Passport Health Plan, Louisville kids are moving and learning more with GoNoodle.”
GoNoodle helps students accumulate vital movement minutes with entertaining experiences that feature high-energy dance music, fitness routines, virtual field trips and physical challenges. The tool is currently available free of charge to more than 3,600 teachers in 178 Louisville schools, reaching nearly 68,000 kindergarten through fifth-grade students in Jefferson County.
Teachers need a computer with an Internet connection and a shared screen, such as a projector or interactive whiteboard, to access more than 250 online movement videos, including exclusive GoNoodle PLUS videos that bring movement and core classroom subjects together to develop fluency in grade-specific math and English language arts topics. These short movement videos incorporate kinesthetic and active learning principles by closely tying movement with core content.
Both energizing and calming videos are available to help teachers channel kids’ energy for good while incorporating math, spelling and vocabulary. The support from the children’s hospital and Passport Health Plan gives teachers, kids and parents access to GoNoodle for free via www.gonoodle.com.
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