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Open Gym - Who Knew?

Lynda Mollow,   Francis Walsh Intermediate School
Physical Activity Participation,  Student Leadership

Every day of the week, the gym is open in the mornings for each grade level to hang out before classes start. Most mornings you could find some boys shooting hoops and running around. Our student team wanted to encourage participation in Open Gym during Fit Week, by increasing awareness, increasing activity variety and bringing on the celebrities. They started a poster and announcements campaign to let everyone know about the special Fit Week Open Gym Days. There would be basketball Knock Out, Just Dance Wii, Hula Hoops, Jump Ropes, and music. Then the team wrote personal invitations to their Elementary teachers, asking them to come to the event to catch up and have some fun. The response was huge. The gym was packed and rocking with activity. Girls flooded the activities for the first time since the beginning of the school year. Our Elementary teachers were completely engaged with all activities and caught up with as many students as they could. We will definitely do more special Open Gyms to keep this wake up activity going, particularly during the cold New England winter months, when days can go by without recess.

How do you plan to make this Play last during the school year and beyond?

We will invite teachers to return again. Introduce new Open Gym activities. Poster and announcement campaigns.

What challenges did you face and how did you overcome them?

Technical challenges with Wii game. We didn't have it set up properly and it was hard to see the screen with the gym lights on. If we use it again we need to get students to set it up - they are more skilled than adults!

What improvements have you seen at your school?

Greater Open Gym participation.