FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
New health. moves. minds.™ Program Helps Schools Address Students’ Emotional and Mental Health Challenges
RESTON, VA, November 13, 2019 — SHAPE America – Society of Health and Physical Educators today announced details of its new health. moves. minds. program, which launched nationwide in August after a successful pilot program from April-June 2019.
SHAPE America developed the educational service-learning program with support from its national partner, Gopher, to address the growing number of students around the country — at all grade levels — with anxiety, depression, and other mental health challenges.
“The health. moves. minds. program provides teachers and administrators with resources to address mental health issues school-wide, which reduces the stigma surrounding these topics while giving students critical coping skills,” says SHAPE America CEO Stephanie Morris. “Grounded in standards-based physical education and health education, the program teaches young people how to take care of their mind and body while developing important character traits such as kindness and empathy.”
As more and more schools are looking for ways to incorporate social and emotional learning (SEL), the health. moves. minds. program is that “missing piece” that embeds SEL in the program’s lessons, activities, and community-building ideas. This includes:
- Free standards-based lessons for grades K-2, 3-5 and 6-8 (grades 9-12 available spring 2020);
- Activity materials and assessment resources for each lesson; and
- Opportunities for school-wide engagement, parent involvement, and community service.
The health. moves. minds. program also offers a fundraising component. Schools can choose if they want 50% of the funds they raise to go directly back to the school — or if they want to “pay it forward” and give 25% to a local charity of their choice.
The 20 schools that piloted the health. moves. minds. program last spring have already seen positive results from teaching students about kindness, mindfulness, empowerment and wellness.
“I have a second-grader who really struggles with emotional regulation,” says Amanda Amtmanis, a physical education teacher in Middletown, CT. “One day as he was trying hard not to lose control, we practiced the Better Breathing technique together. I could actually witness the tension leaving him and it was truly awesome!”
Bill Casey, chair of the Physical Education Department at Neuqua Valley High School in Naperville, IL, believes the health. moves. minds. program has the power to save students’ lives.
“I have never seen such high levels of anxiety and depression among our students,” says Casey. “After implementing health. moves. minds. in our school, we’ve had several students reach out to teachers to share their mental health struggles and ask for help. This program may be one of the most important things we do the entire school year at Neuqua.”
More information about the health. moves. minds. program is available online at www.healthmovesminds.org.
Read more about the pilot schools here.
About SHAPE America
SHAPE America – Society of Health and Physical Educators is the national organization that serves as the voice for 200,000+ health and physical education professionals across the nation. Since its founding in 1885, the organization has defined excellence in physical education, and our National Standards for K-12 Physical Education serve as the foundation for well-designed physical education programs across the country.
We provide programs, resources and advocacy that support an inclusive, active, kinder, and healthier school culture and champion health and physical educators at every level, from preschool to university graduate programs. Our extensive community includes members, advocates and supporters, as well as 51 state affiliate organizations (including the District of Columbia). Together we are working, in and out of schools, to prepare every child to lead a healthy, physically active life. For more information, visit www.shapeamerica.org.
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