The more they burn the better they learn


Did you know that children should get at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day? Physical activity is critical for kids. It can improve attendance, grades, cognitive abilities, memory and focus. According to the 2016 Minnesota Student Survey, only 24 percent of males and 22 percent of females in fifth grade in Winona County met this recommendation over a seven-day time period.

The Statewide Health Improvement Partnership (SHIP) strives to increase opportunities for physical activity. On Thursday, May 10, SHIP hosted a free training at Ridgeway Community School for teachers and other staff that have recess, classroom, before and after school, and summer program responsibilities. Five staff from Ridgeway Community School and two staff from St. Charles Elementary School attended the three-hour training to learn how to expand options for physical activity before, during, and after school. The interactive training included lively discussion on best practices to provide ultimate opportunities for physical activity, sharing of successes, opportunities for improvement, and active demonstration of free resources.

“I want to inspire kids to find activity that they love enough to sustain as an adult,” said trainer Mary Thissen-Milder, PhD from the Minnesota Department of Health and Minnesota Department of Education. “Kids do what they enjoy. They choose things they feel safe and confident doing — where no one’s making fun of you.”

“It’s exciting at this school that we have such a push for movement,” stated Mary Lee Eischen from Ridgeway Community School. “At Ridgeway Community School we encourage our students to move and have fun. It encourages wellness through all of life and helps students with their academic focus.”

SHIP will host a second free training on Wednesday, September 26, from 12:30-3:30 p.m. at Ridgeway Community School on how to incorporate physical activity directly in the classroom.

Attendees will receive three CEUs upon completion of the class. Compensation is available to cover substitute teachers if needed during a trainee’s absence. Registeration is limited to 25 people; you may register at


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