GoNoodle group photo

PADUCAH, Ky. (5/12/16) — Baptist Health Paducah and Kosair Children’s Hospital announce a new partnership to bring GoNoodle in-classroom physical activity breaks to more than 21,000 students at 59 elementary schools in 13 western Kentucky counties.

More than 1,000 area elementary teachers now have access to an online suite of three- to five-minute interactive physical activity breaks students can perform next to their desks, with many of the activities related to academic core subjects.

Teachers appreciate the program’s activities tied to math, spelling and vocabulary, said Elizabeth LeNeave, second grade teacher at Clark Elementary School in Paducah.

“GoNoodle time is built into our daily schedule as we transition from language arts to math, when I sense my students need a ‘brain break,’ “ LeNeave said. “We select two or three high-energy songs or activities and follow it with a calming activity, such as yoga, to help us refocus our minds. I find that once my students and I have completed our daily GoNoodle time, we are better prepared to engage in the learning process.”

The GoNoodle program is available to all elementary schools in these counties: Ballard, Caldwell, Calloway, Carlisle, Crittenden, Fulton, Graves, Hickman, Lyon, Livingston, Marshall, McCracken and Trigg.

Baptist Health Paducah president William A. Brown said the hospital has sponsored a variety of school fitness projects, including 11 schools with Project Fit America; but he believes the large number of GoNoodle schools, as well as the unique combination of fitness and academics, helps meet the hospital mission and vision to improve and transform the health of area communities.

“We believe this activity-based program for 21,000 area children is a giant step toward that goal of better health,” Brown said, “and better health means better academic performance, so it’s a win-win.”

Erin Frazier, M.D., medical director of the Children’s Hospital Foundation Office of Child Advocacy of Kosair Children’s Hospital, said GoNoodle breaks get students interested in physical activity, while the mental breaks prepare them to learn. “We know that early habits around physical activity can lead to a healthier life ahead,” she said.

Baptist Health Paducah and Kosair Children’s Hospital already partner on the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Baptist Health Paducah, so their spokesmen said this combined outreach effort is an extension of their community efforts.

Research shows that short bursts of movement throughout the day can improve student overall health, behavior, focus and cognition, while working to reduce childhood obesity. A recent independent study found that students who played GoNoodle’s Mega Math Marathon during the 2014-15 school year showed a 50 percent improvement in math scores over students who did not participate.

"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. “Thanks to the generous sponsorship of Baptist Health Paducah and Kosair Children’s Hospital, it’s great to see GoNoodle help make classrooms active spaces where kids can earn important minutes of physical activity while also enhancing learning."

As childhood obesity continues to be a leading health issue affecting children, the Center for Disease Control recommends at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity daily. Just one-fourth of all youth meet that guideline, so GoNoodle helps students add minutes through high-energy dance music, fitness routines, virtual field trips and physical challenges.

The program’s 250 online physical activity breaks tie movement to core subjects in grade-specific math and English-language arts topics. GoNoodle features both energizing and calming physical activity breaks to help teachers channel childrens’ energy, while incorporating academic lessons.

To use GoNoodle, teachers need a computer with an Internet connection and a shared screen, such as a projector or interactive white board. Sponsored teachers can access premium GoNoodle programming free by signing up at www.gonoodle.com.

Parents and children can use GoNoodle for free at home by visiting the same website. “It’s a great way to turn screen time into active time,” McQuigg said.

SurfKY News
Information provided by Angie Timmons

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