In the spring of 2019, my school was one of 21 pilot schools selected to participate in SHAPE America’s new service-learning program — health. moves. minds.™
In April and May, we implemented the health. moves. minds. lesson plans and activities, used the online fundraising platform, and had a school-wide fun day as well as a culminating family fun run.
Here’s what we learned.
Schools Need SEL — and health. moves. minds. Delivers
The health. moves. minds. program is life changing — and there isn’t another program out there like it.
Traditionally, students have not been taught how to deal with their emotions, but the health. moves. minds. program gives teachers lessons to help their students understand that their mind is just as important as their body!
Social and emotional learning is the basis of this program — not just supplemental lessons. And I love that it’s a program for the entire school, not just health and physical education class. Teachers and students can use this anywhere and at any time!
In our school, the connections students are making is amazing! We started the health. moves. minds. pilot program in April, right before state testing. It was so cool to see students making a connection with being mindful and test taking. We even had students ask to take a Mindful Minute and practice deep breathing to help calm and prepare themselves for the test!
Fundraising is Easy and Beneficial
My school budget for 200+ kids is only $450, so I love that up to 50% of the funds raised by our school through the health. moves. minds. online fundraising platform will come back to our school. I also love that everything is online if your school chooses to do individual donations.
The money we raised through health. moves. minds. fundraising will help us build a better health and physical education program for all students — and I am excited to include my students and classroom teachers in choosing equipment.
This year we will have a wish list and hopefully be able to choose from that list. With this fundraiser, the sky’s the limit!
This is a new program, so it may take time to see the big givebacks! Since we did this at the end of the year, we did not raise as much money as I was hoping, but we still received a little back to start working on building our equipment up!
I would suggest implementing the program at a time where you know families will have the time and means to help make this a great fundraiser!
The health. moves. minds. Program is Flexible
It’s very easy to make this program your own! In fact, just about every pilot school did something different to kick off and end their health. moves. minds. pilot program.
Our school did its very first family fun run! It was so nice to see parents involved and doing the activities with their students. In fact, we found that parents, teachers, students and the community want to be involved!
Spring weather in Wyoming is unpredictable to say the least — and our family fun run had to be moved inside our school!
I decided to start small and just do a short run around our school. It was an easy adjustment to move everything inside, and we had stations along the way for students and parents to participate together. Some stations were stretches, some were teamwork activities, and some were directly from the health. moves. minds. lessons!
My advice is to make your celebration as big or small as you want! The kids will enjoy it no matter what because it is something different and new!
The health. moves. minds. program is all about making students, teachers and parents better humans — and it allows everyone to see how health and physical education are important and beneficial for the Whole Child.
The bonus is that the money raised through the online fundraising platform helps support health and PE programs in the school — and at the state and national level. I have never been prouder to support a program!
Briana Fuller is a health and physical education teacher at Harrison Elementary School in Green River, WY, as well as the assistant soccer coach at Green River High School. She has been teaching for nine years and is on the board of Wyoming AHPERD. She loves spending time with her family and all things soccer. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow @BriBribug8.