Whole Mind, Whole Body, Whole Commitment to Health and Physical Activity at Middleburg Community Charter School
What has two arms, two legs, and gets physical activity at least 5 days a week? A student at Middleburg Community Charter School in Middleburg, VA, of course! Physical activity is a priority for teachers and administrators, and students alike at Middleburg, where Principal David Larson, a former PE teacher, ensures that students receive physical education classes three times a week and dance curriculum twice a week, as well as 30 minutes of recess each day. “It’s movement that’s important and will contribute to high student achievement and wellbeing, so it’s important to me as a former PE teacher to make sure that kids don’t just sit at a computer all day,” said Miriam Hughey-Guy, academic advisor for Middleburg and a retired principal herself.
Middleburg is a charter school that has adopted the Leonardo DaVinci curriculum for integration of the arts, so students get plenty of movement during performing arts classes, as well as through PE classes and free play during recess. One of the teachers started a mile club, so students get tokens the more they walk and run, which has provided a fun incentive for kids to walk and run more. “Children get off the bus and hit the tracks. At lunch time they gobble down their lunch and then some of the students get started on walking for the mile club,” said Ms. Hughey-Guy.
Plus, since Middleburg is a small school and the library services are quite small, the school has partnered with the town of Middleburg expand their library program. Every Friday, the kindergartners and first graders take a walking field trip to the library as long as the weather permits. “Parents love when we tell them the children are outside. They’re so supportive of everything. And on Wednesdays, the staff participates together after school in a fitness program as well," said Ms. Hughey-Guy.
With all the physical activity that Middleburg students were already doing, plus enthusiastic parent and teacher support, the Fire Up Your Feet Challenge was a great fit. During the Challenge, teachers would track activity for their students on paper and then send their activity logs each week to Mr. Larson, who then sent the information to Ms. Hughey-Guy to enter on the Fire Up Your Feet website.
Middleburg’s commitment to physical activity paid off when they took home second place in the Fire Up Your Feet Spring Activity Challenge in Virginia. The school plans to use the award money to invest in circuit training equipment so that students who complete their walking and running on the track can benefit from a whole body fitness program, as well as other fitness equipment and tokens for the mile club program.
Way to go, Middleburg Community Charter School!