Students at Princess Anne Elementary School are starting every morning on the right track with an exercise program that engages their minds and bodies.
Students participate in “Fire Up Your Feet,” a successful national exercise program that consists of walking, running, recess and sports activities.
Andrew Shippy, the program director and fifth-grade teacher at PAES, said the program serves about 500 students total and the overall goal is to help students attain a healthy and active lifestyle while preparing their minds and bodies for the school day.
“I believe those students who are engaged and energized will see greater success in their classroom performance,” says Shippy, who sees about 40 to 50 students each morning to perform different activities like tag, kickball, soccer, and basketball.
As part of the national program, students activities are logged into a state-wide competition. They have recently been awarded for their accomplishments. The school was awarded for such milestones as having the most students tracked and having the biggest increase in participation. PAES received an $1,800 cash prize to be reinvested into the program to create more activities for the students, which they used for admission to Adventure Park in Virginia Beach.
Shippy says in addition to the program’s success, he is also receiving positive feedback from the participants.
“They have loved every second of it,” says Shippy. “I have received handwritten letters from particular students telling me how much they have enjoyed going outside first thing in the morning and getting dirty or wet right before the school day. I have noticed this program has allowed new friends to blossom and attitudes toward the notion of ‘working out’ have improved. Many times the students don’t realize they’re ‘working out,’ they’re just simply thinking how much fun they are having playing whatever the game may be at the time.”
For information about how to get your school into the program, visit FireUpYourFeet.org.