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Better Learning: These SC Schools Don’t Let Their Students “sit still”

By Staff Blogger

In traditional early childhood school settings, children are prodded for excessive physical movement. However, in Charleston, South Carolina, there is a school encouraging their young students to do the exact opposite.

David Spurlock, 63, a former athletics coach and Charleston resident has some strong opinions, which are highly critical of the traditional educational setting imposed on children in most public schools today.

“We put kids in a two by two cell and dare them to move: ‘Keep your feet on the floor and hands up where I can see them,'” Spurlock said in a recent interview with The Washington Post. “That sounds like being incarcerated to me,” he continued.

Spurlock is the coordinator for health, wellness, and physical education for the Charleston County school district. His school district has implemented a district-wide initiative called Active Brains. This program is a daily, 50-minute activity that promotes fitness for children.

Active Brains is not necessarily another PE class. It’s definitely a far cry from your traditional classroom setting. This program is designated to utilize movement and all forms of physical activity to assist in better learning for students as opposed to sitting still while in the school environment.

This initiative is actually encouraged by a very big government bureau. The U.S. Department of Health and Human services has consistently recommended that children have at least one hour of vigorous physical activity every day.

The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) also revealed in its annual report that poor exercise and excessive video game usage was pervasive in school children who had poor grades. This info was extracted from a recent national study by the ACSM.

During his recent visit to Charles Pinckney Elementary School in Charleston, Spurlock got a bird’s eye view of a small microcosm of what Active Brains in his school district looks like. “If you went to anybody who’s in education, you say PE versus instruction, they say instruction every time,” he said.

“But what we’re trying to show is that more movement equals better grades,” Spurlock continued. There are about a dozen Active Brains hubs across the Charleston County school district.

In addition to Active Brains, a program designed for elementary students, Spurlock has also pioneered an “advanced PE program” for middle school students in his school district. These initiatives seek to address growing problems with the youth in the Charleston County school district, such as childhood diabetes and obesity.

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