Inly's Upper Elementary Students Embark on New Physical Fitness Program at the YMCA

A New Physical Fitness Partnership: Inly School and the South Shore YMCA

Upper Elementary students have embarked on a partnership with the South Shore YMCA in Hanover to learn the basics of a good work out program. On alternating Fridays for the next six weeks, students in grades 4–6 will be spending the afternoon working with a YMCA staff instructor. The students will learn about cardiovascular health, weight training, and other forms of exercise such as Zumba and yoga.

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The Thinking Behind the New Physical Fitness Program

Children ages 9–12 are highly active. Research shows that from a developmental perspective, children in this age range are learning academically as well as physically and this is a sensitive period for acquiring the key gross and fine motor skills they will need in adulthood. We support the need for physical development at each level at Inly with movement and sports classes and this six-week program at the Y compliments those programs with a focus on fitness. For some of our Upper Elementary (UE) students, this is their first introduction to cardio-vascular exercise and equipment, for others this is already routine. Whatever their level of experience, we believe this is important for them. There are many studies to support the connection between targeted physical activity in children and enhanced cognitive performance, healthy body image, and adult health. It is our intention that this program will serve as one more avenue for our students to develop lifelong habits for health.

Connecting Lessons in the Gym to Lessons in Science

On alternating weeks, our students will participate in a one-hour, guided fitness program. UE teachers join the students, actively participating in the program under the guidance of a trained staff member at the Y. Traveling with parent drivers, students leave school at 12:45, attend class from 1:15-2:15, and return to school by 2:30. We will also be working with students to measure and chart their progress, and to tie what they’re learning about their bodies in fitness, to what they are learning about anatomy in science. Inly teachers and Y staff are on hand at all times to supervise and guide our children. We believe that the philosophical alignment of the two educational missions and the related lessons learned along the way will surely prove to be valuable for all of our students.

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