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Ground-Breaking New Program Promotes Physical Fitness and Learning

  • Published: January 10, 2012

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Jackie Bryant
Nazareth College
Director, Teacher Opportunity Collaboratives

Ground-Breaking New Program Promotes Physical Fitness and Learning

Math and Movement is a ground-breaking new educational program that combines physical fitness with learning and practicing math, reading and other concepts.

The Nazareth College School of Education Teacher Leader Quality Partnerships (TLQP) Program will host a training and demonstration of the Math and Movement program on Wednesday, January 11 from 1 p.m. to 2:45 p.m. at the Children’s School of Rochester, School Number 15. (494 Averill Ave, Rochester). The workshop, led by program founder Suzy Koontz of Ithaca,  will train the teachers in movement-based learning strategies which will give their students the opportunity to hop, skip and jump to the answer! Great Visual:  Children from the city school district are taking part in the demonstration to show parents and teachers how moving can be great for learning!

Eight out of ten children are kinesthetic learners (learn best through movement.) The program harnesses children’s natural kinesthetic learning style to foster positive feelings towards learning. The Math and Movement program is based on research that shows that moving during learning facilitates muscle memory, an important factor with younger children whose abstract thinking skills are not fully developed.

One parent of a boy who participated in the program was surprised at how quickly he learned multiplication. She says her son “is definitely more confident about his math ability and this confidence has carried over into the second grade.”

At a time when there are 12 million obese children, physical fitness has become a matter of national urgency. As U.S. Senator Chris Dobb has said, “All of us—parents, schools, government, employers—need to see the rising childhood obesity rates for what they are: a medical emergency.”  Math and Movement promotes physical activity while simultaneously increasing learning.  The end result: physically fit children and increased test scores.

Founded in 1924, Nazareth College is located on a close-knit, suburban campus in the dynamic, metropolitan region of Rochester, N.Y. The College offers challenging academic programs in the liberal arts and sciences and professional programs in health and human services, education, and management. Nazareth's strong cultures of service and community prepare students to be successful professionals and engaged citizens. The College enrolls approximately 2,000 undergraduate students and 1,000 graduate students.

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