Fitness program Sparks academic success at Orchard Park Secondary School

Community Nov 13, 2017 by Mike Pearson Stoney Creek News

Physical education is more than just fun and games at Orchard Park Secondary School.

Using a new program called Spark, Tim Harvey is helping Grade 9 students sharpen their minds and bodies with high-energy fitness sessions five mornings a week.

Spark is based on the book of the same name by Dr. John Ratey. The book highlights research showing early-morning physical activity can lead to biological changes that encourage brain cells to bind to one another.

Harvey, one of the Orchard Park program instructors along with Janet Elliott, said Spark is helping students feel more focused in their classes. Harvey said students are showing improved comprehension and retention of information, which can lead to better grades. The program also helps to reduce anxiety and promote better mental health.

“Phys-ed is not just for jocks,” said Harvey. “We can have an impact on things like math and languages.”

Students are fitted with heart rate monitors during the workout sessions, which run from 8:30-9:15 a.m. Using tablet technology, students can see their heart rate, their activity level and the number of calories they’re burning, all in real time.

Harvey said the phys-ed classes allow students to set personal goals and build confidence.

“This has been a huge confidence booster for them,” said Harvey. “Every kid can be as successful as the last kid.”

On Nov. 13, Harvey was proud to say all of the students in attendance met the goal of maintaining 70 per cent heart rate capacity for at least 20 minutes.

William Porterfield, one of Harvey’s students, is seeing benefits from Spark throughout the school day. After Spark, he heads to music class, where he’s learning to play the tuba.

“I’m picking it up really quick,” he said.

Porterfield feels more focused at the end of the day as well.

Student Dora Molnar is finding the physical activity is helping to keep her mind sharp in math class and throughout the day. Like her classmates, Molnar is making the transition to Grade 9 academic math this year.

“When I have a really good gym session I do focus a bit more and I’m not fidgeting in class,” she said. “I’m focused; so there is a benefit for me.”

Fitness program Sparks academic success at Orchard Park Secondary School

Community Nov 13, 2017 by Mike Pearson Stoney Creek News

Physical education is more than just fun and games at Orchard Park Secondary School.

Using a new program called Spark, Tim Harvey is helping Grade 9 students sharpen their minds and bodies with high-energy fitness sessions five mornings a week.

Spark is based on the book of the same name by Dr. John Ratey. The book highlights research showing early-morning physical activity can lead to biological changes that encourage brain cells to bind to one another.

Harvey, one of the Orchard Park program instructors along with Janet Elliott, said Spark is helping students feel more focused in their classes. Harvey said students are showing improved comprehension and retention of information, which can lead to better grades. The program also helps to reduce anxiety and promote better mental health.

“Phys-ed is not just for jocks.”

“Phys-ed is not just for jocks,” said Harvey. “We can have an impact on things like math and languages.”

Students are fitted with heart rate monitors during the workout sessions, which run from 8:30-9:15 a.m. Using tablet technology, students can see their heart rate, their activity level and the number of calories they’re burning, all in real time.

Harvey said the phys-ed classes allow students to set personal goals and build confidence.

“This has been a huge confidence booster for them,” said Harvey. “Every kid can be as successful as the last kid.”

On Nov. 13, Harvey was proud to say all of the students in attendance met the goal of maintaining 70 per cent heart rate capacity for at least 20 minutes.

William Porterfield, one of Harvey’s students, is seeing benefits from Spark throughout the school day. After Spark, he heads to music class, where he’s learning to play the tuba.

“I’m picking it up really quick,” he said.

Porterfield feels more focused at the end of the day as well.

Student Dora Molnar is finding the physical activity is helping to keep her mind sharp in math class and throughout the day. Like her classmates, Molnar is making the transition to Grade 9 academic math this year.

“When I have a really good gym session I do focus a bit more and I’m not fidgeting in class,” she said. “I’m focused; so there is a benefit for me.”

Fitness program Sparks academic success at Orchard Park Secondary School

Community Nov 13, 2017 by Mike Pearson Stoney Creek News

Physical education is more than just fun and games at Orchard Park Secondary School.

Using a new program called Spark, Tim Harvey is helping Grade 9 students sharpen their minds and bodies with high-energy fitness sessions five mornings a week.

Spark is based on the book of the same name by Dr. John Ratey. The book highlights research showing early-morning physical activity can lead to biological changes that encourage brain cells to bind to one another.

Harvey, one of the Orchard Park program instructors along with Janet Elliott, said Spark is helping students feel more focused in their classes. Harvey said students are showing improved comprehension and retention of information, which can lead to better grades. The program also helps to reduce anxiety and promote better mental health.

“Phys-ed is not just for jocks.”

“Phys-ed is not just for jocks,” said Harvey. “We can have an impact on things like math and languages.”

Students are fitted with heart rate monitors during the workout sessions, which run from 8:30-9:15 a.m. Using tablet technology, students can see their heart rate, their activity level and the number of calories they’re burning, all in real time.

Harvey said the phys-ed classes allow students to set personal goals and build confidence.

“This has been a huge confidence booster for them,” said Harvey. “Every kid can be as successful as the last kid.”

On Nov. 13, Harvey was proud to say all of the students in attendance met the goal of maintaining 70 per cent heart rate capacity for at least 20 minutes.

William Porterfield, one of Harvey’s students, is seeing benefits from Spark throughout the school day. After Spark, he heads to music class, where he’s learning to play the tuba.

“I’m picking it up really quick,” he said.

Porterfield feels more focused at the end of the day as well.

Student Dora Molnar is finding the physical activity is helping to keep her mind sharp in math class and throughout the day. Like her classmates, Molnar is making the transition to Grade 9 academic math this year.

“When I have a really good gym session I do focus a bit more and I’m not fidgeting in class,” she said. “I’m focused; so there is a benefit for me.”