Starting off with heart-pumping exercise, hip hop music and a lot of high-fives, a Bronx Health REACH sponsored physical activity training reminded 20 schools aides and 2 physical education teachers how much fun physical activity can be. By the end of the three hour training held on September 19th at PS443, aides were laughing and fully engaged in Fit4Life’s Play With Purpose interactive program.
Fit4Life Executive Director, Maurelhena Walles who facilitated the class, reminded the aides, “If you look like you are having fun, the students will too.”
Bronx Health REACH coordinated the Physical Activity for School Aides training at the suggestion of the District 9 Superintendent's Office who saw a need for school aide training in physical activity. Bronx Health REACH chose partner, Fit4life, a nonprofit organization that provides teachers and school staff with the tools to bring active play, character development, and healthy competition back into the classroom and onto the school playground, to run the training.
During the three hour training, Ms. Walles taught aides how to structure a class, about the gross motor skills of K-1 vs 4-5th graders, and what progressive learning looks like in an active setting. Using the Play with Purpose model, Ms. Walles taught the aides approaches to traditional and non-traditional sports, dance, fitness and movement-based programming that focuses on boosting a youth's self-confidence, maximizing the amount of time one moves, minimizing competition, encouraging sportsmanship and promoting a lifetime of activity.
Ms. Walles pointed out that, “Teacher Aides play a significant role in the education of a child. To empower them with tools on not just what to do in the class, but rather why they are teaching a particular game or activity and how to teach is powerful. Once someone understands and owns the fact that they do indeed play a role in the education of children. Once a person understands that (active) learning, team-building, leadership and communication takes place during Structured Recess, the perspective changes.” School aide Nancy Vega added, “I had a lot of fun at the training and the techniques we learned will be very useful at recess.”
Bronx Health REACH coordinates professional development trainings in physical activity and nutrition education throughout the year as part of the services they provide to Bronx schools in education districts 7, 8, 9 and 12. If your school is interested in district-wide training in nutrition education, physical activity, competitive food marketing/ guidelines, school wellness for teachers, staff and parents, parent engagement support or training in any of our five wellness toolkits, Email Moria Byrne-Zaaloff, Program Coordinator for Creating Healthy Schools and Communities at Bronx Health REACH or call (212) 633-0800 x 1287.