ST. PAUL, Minn. (May 28, 2014) — Recognizing that healthier students are better students, the Minnesota Department of Health and the Minnesota Department of Education this week launched a new campaign called Moving Matters! The goal of the effort is to help schools around the state integrate more physical activity into the day.
To kick off Moving Matters!, Minnesota Department of Education Commissioner Brenda Cassellius and Minnesota Department of Health Commissioner Ed Ehlinger joined St. Paul Public Schools Superintendent Valeria Silva on Tuesday to visit Capitol Hill Gifted and Talented Magnet School in St. Paul. The commissioners talked with students and teachers about the school’s innovative approach to keeping students active and healthy.
Research shows that kids benefit greatly from quality physical education and regular physical activity. Physical activity during the school day not only helps build strong, healthy bodies, it also has been shown to improve academic performance, attentiveness and concentration in the classroom.
Unfortunately, children have become increasingly sedentary both at home and in school in recent years. To reverse that trend, the Minnesota Departments of Health and Education collaborated to develop Moving Matters! as a tool to help schools offer more physical activity before, during and after school.
“Giving kids the chance to be active during the school day not only promotes a healthier lifestyle, it helps keep their minds sharp and ready to learn,” said Commissioner Cassellius.
“Schools are crucial partners in ensuring our communities have policies and practices that support children in mind, body and spirit,” said Commissioner Ehlinger. “We’re excited about Moving Matters! because it helps schools and communities find ways to incorporate activity throughout a child’s day, in and out of school.”
The Moving Matters! tool kit provides best practices for physical education classes, physical activity in classrooms, and physical activity before and after school, as well as staff, family, and community engagement. Strategies include 30 minutes of gym a day, active games in the classroom, and Safe Routes to School.
“The Capitol Hill community is committed to doing whatever it takes to have our kids be successful both in school and life. Teaching good physical activity habits—habits that may last a lifetime—is but one example of this philosophy,” says Principal Patrick Bryan.
Capitol Hill Gifted and Talented Magnet is supported in part by the Saint Paul—Ramsey County Public Health Statewide Health Improvement Program (SHIP). SHIP helps communities to make healthy living easier for more people. For more information about Moving Matters! and the benefits of physical activity in school, visit www.health.state.mn.us/physicalactivity/activeschool.html.