dancing for exercise

Dancing Through the School Day

May 14 2018

Standing at attention next to their desks, the students of Susan Schultz’s elementary classroom were getting ready to dance. Literally — dance.

In the counties surrounding Toledo, Mercy Health has launched a partnership with GoNoodle to get Northwest Ohio kids moving more at school and home. Using GoNoodle’s movement videos and games elementary students in nine northwest Ohio counties (Defiance, Fulton, Lucas, Wood, Ottawa, Sandusky, Seneca, Erie and Huron) are getting active in classrooms throughout the school day.

“We are extremely grateful,” said Ms. Schultz, a teacher of fourth, fifth and sixth graders at Birmingham Elementary teacher in the Toledo Public Schools district. “The kids can have fun, exercise, and learn all at the same time, without even realizing they’re learning. We are so thankful to Mercy Health.”

More than 97,000 elementary aged children at 249 public and private elementary schools now have the opportunity to bring movement and mindfulness into their learning. Students will be running, jumping, dancing, stretching, and participating in calming activities next to their desk. This partnership with GoNoodle is expanding upon Mercy Health’s leadership of fostering healthy communities across the entire northwest Ohio region.

“Mercy Health is committed to helping our community thrive – mind, body and spirit – and so it only made sense to work with GoNoodle to bring this innovative program to our area schools.” said Bob Baxter, vice president, Mercy Health and president and CEO, Mercy Health – Toledo. “GoNoodle is another tool for our teachers to help our community’s children build successful lives defined by learning and wellbeing. Together, we can inspire our children’s minds while offering them a little bit of fun, too.”

GoNoodle maximizes the scientific connection between physical activity, social and emotional health and better learning with hundreds of short videos and games that get kids moving. Grounded in research, use of GoNoodle delivers improvements in behavior, focus, academic performance and health.

Jeff Dempsey, president and CEO of Mercy Health – St. Vincent Medical Center and Mercy Health – Children’s Hospital understands that serving the whole community requires Mercy Health to reach families outside the hospital walls. In particular, Mercy Health is working at being a conduit to help northwest Ohio’s youngest community members create healthy habits at an early age. “Mercy Health – Children’s Hospital offers a space for children to heal but we know our best weapon in the fight against illness is prevention.” Jeff said. “GoNoodle helps not only strengthen the minds of our children but also their bodies. Mercy Health is excited to be a part of this project.”

According to the CDC, only one-quarter of today’s youth meet the current recommendation of at least 60 minutes of physical activity per day. Together with Mercy Health and Mercy Health – Children’s Hospital, GoNoodle is helping students accumulate vital minutes of physical activity with entertaining experiences that feature high-energy dance music, fitness routines, virtual field trips and physical challenges. Studies show with increased movement in the classroom, elementary students are not only improving their health but also boosting their cognitive processing, focus and academic performance.

“Regular physical activity is critically important to the healthy development of kids. And, we know healthy kids do better in school,” said Scott McQuigg, CEO and co-founder of GoNoodle. “Teachers are using the power of movement to improve student performance, and parents are using GoNoodle to turn screen time into active time. Thanks to the generous support of Mercy Health and Mercy Children’s Hospital, kids are moving and learning more with GoNoodle.”

To use GoNoodle, teachers need to have a computer with an Internet connection and a shared screen such as a projector or interactive whiteboard. At home, kids can create and customize their accounts (with parent verification), and get playing GoNoodle online, on mobile, or on Apple TV. Thanks to a generous community contribution by Mercy Health and Mercy Health – Children’s Hospital teachers, parents and kids will have access to GoNoodle Plus for free by signing up at gonoodle.com.

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