The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends that kids aged 6 to 17 need 60 minutes of physical activity per day. However, most kids aren’t meeting this! Additionally, abundant research supports the connection between physical activity and heightened learning. The National Academies Health and Sciences Division states, “children who are more active show greater attention, have faster cognitive processing speed, and perform better on standardized academic tests than children who are less active.” Physical activity positively affects students and their brain function, heightening learning, increasing on-task behavior, building classroom cohesion, and reducing ADHD, depression, and obesity. But right now, hundreds and hundreds of underserved, but deserving kids, in classrooms across Alexandria are suffering and falling further behind their more affluent and more active peers.
RunningBrooke is here to change that, as well as support the Alexandria City School Board’s directive for schools to expand physical activity to 30 minutes throughout the school day. RunningBrooke’s innovative Move2Learn program bolsters these initiatives by working with educators, nonprofits, and community leaders to add physical activity to classrooms and schools.
Move2Learn toolkits, teacher trainings, and grants supporting before, during, and after school programs bring movement to kids where they spend the majority of their time: the classroom. Yearly Move2Learn Summits offer pragmatic solutions to educators, administrators, and community leaders by bringing world-renowned speakers to Alexandria to speak on the benefits of exercise and movement and how increased activity in the classroom and school day boosts learning and academic success. Neighborhood playgrounds meet the needs of our youngest citizens, as well as the after-school and weekend crowds. To date, RunningBrooke has built two playgrounds: Hume Springs Park in Arlandria in 2015, and Taney Avenue Park in the West End in 2016. A third playground is scheduled at Four Mile Run in August 2019.