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Kingston area school teachers get a lesson in physical literacy

Local school teachers get a lesson in physical literacy
Local teachers get a lesson on physical literacy. They learn how to incorporate physical activity into the classroom setting.

Twenty educators from Kingston area schools, on Monday, stepped out of the classroom to attend a half-day workshop to get schooled in the importance of physical literacy.

The workshop was organized by “Kingston Gets Active”, a team that strives to mobilize communities to increase the number of accessible active opportunities. The workshop was is funded by a Trillium Grant worth $250,000 and will be used over the next three years to educate teachers on the importance of getting students active in the classrooms.

By doing planks, squats, and jogging, teachers, like John Paul Morgenstern, got to experience the benefits of physical literacy firsthand. The high school teacher at Regiopolous-Notre Dame Catholic School says students in this generation aren’t as active as they should be.

“There is a big group of students that don’t want to be physically active, either in a phys ed class or every day in their own life. [There are] probably less opportunities on a daily basis and more distractions or activities that don’t require physical activity,” said Morgenstern.
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READ MORE: Physical activity can help you with your mental health

That’s where Ted Temertzoglou and Shelly Mulrooney come in to help. They run physical literacy workshops across Canada where they teach educators how to incorporate physical activity in the classroom setting.

“Math and science and english are getting all the attention because of EQAO scores but if you think about it logically, what can be more important than the mental health of our kids and we know that physical activity is directly linked to that,” said Temertzoglou.

Temertzoglou was a health and physical education teacher for the Toronto District School Board for 20 years and has taught in the Birchmount Exceptional Athlete Program. Presently he works with Thompson Educational Publishing, creating learning resources for Health and Physical Education K-12. According to Temertzoglou, regular physical activity is connected to better health, positive self-image and even better school grades. He says nowadays, a majority of people sit more than they sleep….and that’s a problem.

“There are a whole bunch of acquired diseases that we develop because we are not moving enough.”

Including obesity, cardiovascular disease and even an increased risk for cancer.

READ MORE: New Game Plan program helps Canadian athletes balance school and sport

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Playing a simple game between classes such as rock, paper, scissors while doing squats — or doing math equations while in the plank position are just a few ideas to help get students moving and thinking.

Sarah Jewell is a grade 10 student at Regiopolous-Notre Dame Catholic School.

“He said we were doing planks for 30 seconds but it felt like two seconds trying to play and interact with our friends but also being active at the same time blew my mind,” said Jewell.

Over the next three years, 170 local teachers will take part in physical literacy workshops like this one, in an effort to engage students with more than just their minds.