Education
7:10 am
Mon June 4, 2012

Praise For "The Walking Classroom"

A Chapel Hill non-profit has been recognized nationally for developing a program that targets childhood obesity while helping students learn.  The program is called “The Walking Classroom.”

Leoneda Inge:  The Walking Classroom Institute is about one year old and was started by former 5th grade teacher Laura Fenn.

Laura Fenn:  What I did is one day, when I was home after school, I went out for a walk and I was listening to a podcast while I was walking and I thought to myself, my students can do this.

So Fenn tried it out on her students at Mary Scroggs Elementary School, taking them on regular walks around Dogwood Park .

Laura Fenn:  And what ended up happening is the kids, the students loved, loved, loved it!

Fenn says the walks seemed to boost confidence and put students in a better mood, resulting in richer discussions in the classroom.  Gaye Sartin is the principal of Sylvan Elementary School in Alamance County.  Three classes of fifth graders participated in an Elon University study to measure the effectiveness of “The Walking Classroom.”  Sartin says they were shocked by early results from the study.

Gaye Sartin:  Their scores were better than the other classes. And they had actually grown more than our other students, and the only difference that any of us can honestly say was that they were the kids doing the walking.

“Child-Obesity-180” is impressed.  The Tufts University program awarded “The Walking Classroom” with its Grand Prize for innovation and creativity.