Momentum Magazine - Spring 2022

Page 25

In the Zone Issue 6 / Spring 2022

The Importance of SEL Curriculum and Fundraising for a Title I School TOM ROBERTS Physical Education Teacher, Aquila Elementary School (St. Louis Park, MN)

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quila Elementary is a Title I school (K-5) with middle class families and lower income households that need assistance. We have a large multilingual population and embrace our diversity. I have been using the health. moves. minds. program for three years — the SEL curriculum and activities as well as the fundraiser. The parachute activity is one that we use a lot. We shake the balls on the parachute while talking to students about how to manage the many thoughts that might be juggling in their minds. The Mindful Minute is something I do at the end of my classes to help students calm down, which helps them transition back to the classroom better. Their teachers appreciate that. We have a PE Combo Class (music and physical education), and we collaborate on our curriculums to do PE and music together. Our music teacher also does mindful breathing with her class. When I started using the health. moves. minds. posters and resources a few years ago, it inspired other teachers to make posters for their classroom door and bulletin boards. Some have even made kindness jars. We also have an SEL Team at our school, which includes me, our social worker, and our psychologists. They do a “kindness boomerang” and give it to a student who then gives it to someone else. This reinforces kindness and is a good fit with our health. moves. minds. program.

SHAPE America’s health. moves. minds. program offers lessons and activities that teach kids to thrive physically and emotionally — and includes flexible fundraising options to help you make the biggest impact in your school and community. You can share your success with health. moves. minds. — and bring national attention to your school — by contributing to In the Zone! If interested, email healthmovesminds@shapeamerica.org.

A culture of kindness has spread throughout Aquila Elementary School.

Our classroom teachers are using the calming activities and are also helping to create a culture of kindness, which is now spreading throughout the school, not just in the gym. On our playground we have a Buddy Bench where a student can sit if they don’t have someone to play with. We teach our students to show empathy and ask that student on the Buddy Bench to play or join their activity.

Fundraising Benefits While the health. moves. minds. curriculum is very important to our school, so is the fundraising. I have a $700 budget for my department. I found that even if I choose the “Pay it Forward” fundraising option — where 25% of the funds raised support a charity of our choice — we still receive 25%, which is more than the 4% that I usually received from other fundraisers we have participated in. Our first year with health. moves. minds., we supported the Muscular Dystrophy (MD) Association because we had a student with MD. That fundraiser brought awareness and greater understanding to our students. Last year and this year we are supporting Special Olympics because we feel their mission aligns with the mission of health. moves. minds. Creating a culture of (continued on page 4)

Learn more and register at healthmovesminds.org

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