Salisbury Academy keeps students on the move

Published 12:00 am Thursday, February 5, 2015

As part of an emphasis on health and wellness, Salisbury Academy is committed to giving students many opportunities to move throughout their day. Whether it is time outside, physical education class or active breaks in the classroom, movement is an important part of keeping students engaged, alert and healthy.

“Movement is a powerful tool that we know enhances the learning experience and provides active, student-centered instruction,” said Head of School Beverly Fowler.

Dr. Delaine Fowler, chief executive officer of Fowler Physical Therapy, led a movement lab for faculty and staff Friday, in which she provided the benefits of movement and ideas for the classroom. She earned her doctorate in physical therapy in 2004 from Elon University and has worked in the rehabilitation and wellness arena for a decade.

She discussed the latest trends in childhood activity and highlighted the benefits of keeping students active throughout the day. Fowler also demonstrated practical strategies for faculty to use in the classroom.

“Wellness is a necessary part of what transpires at Salisbury Academy. Children who are physically active during the day are more apt to attend better when asked to sit in a seat for a lesson,” said second-grade teacher Mary Lou Williams. “I liked the quick energizers which Delaine shared with us, and I will use them in my class.”

“It is always helpful to have someone offer more ideas and strategies to get kids moving throughout the day,” said science and math teacher Katie Reefe. “I think we do a great job of giving kids the flexibility to wiggle while they learn.”

Delaine Fowler suggested various activities and strategies, including breathing exercises, balance activities, adaptive seating options and active games and activities for inside and outside. She said that children and adolescents should have at least one hour of moderate to vigorous aerobic physical activity per day.

She also provided faculty and staff information about how they can stay active and use movement to relieve tension and pain. Fowler led the group through the Total Motion Release model of physical therapist Tom Baker, which uses simple activities to release musculoskeletal restriction.

“We have to figure out how to keep the mindset of the benefits of being up and about during the school day,” Fowler said. “We must give attention to the physical us because our bodies can change our minds, our minds can change our behaviors, and our behaviors can change our outcomes.”