Students learn the importance of exercise through Move-ember

December 4, 2016 — by Ashley Su and Katherine Zhou

Move-ember promotes excersize

Whenever assistant principal Brian Thompson feels stressed or overwhelmed, one of his main ways to cope is to exercise. Following his lead, the school implemented a new program called “Move-ember” in an effort to encourage exercise during one of the toughest months of the school year.

According to Thompson, the idea came from last year’s professional development work with the school, where the administration worked on removing systems that contributed to student stress. Students jumped rope, hula hooped, played ultimate frisbee and more.

“Physical activity is one of those important things that we can do when we’re feeling stressed,” Thompson said. “Doing something physical makes a difference in how we feel and helps us get some of that stress out of our system.”

Each department sponsored a different event during tutorial — for example, social studies sponsored an open gym, special education sponsored dodgeball and the Leadership class sponsored four lunchtime activities.

Leadership, administration and guidance partnered up to host a larger event, the Turkey Trot, on Nov. 22. The PTSO provided a free slice of Pizza My Heart pizza for every mile that a participant walked or ran.

Thompson said that Move-ember was “truly a school-wide event” because there are contributions from everyone in the school, including all teachers.

“The task at hand was for each group to come up with an event that would encourage our student body to get up and move, use physical activity and do things that are different from what we normally do on campus during tutorial or lunchtime,” Thompson said.

For example, the freshman class office decided to put on an ultimate frisbee game at lunch on Nov. 15.

“We chose to do ultimate frisbee because it’s a game everyone enjoys that keeps you active,” freshman class officer Vivian Lin said. “It’s intense but at the same time super fun.”

Lin was surprised by the number of people who showed up, around 60, considerably more than what she expected. Many watched the game from the sidelines as well.

“We don’t get a lot of opportunities in high school to play ultimate frisbee, since everyone uses tutorial and lunch to study or do homework,” Lin said. “These games all bring back memories from middle school and elementary school, allowing people to have a lot of fun that they usually don’t have.”

Although it was difficult to organize 13 events in 12 days, Thompson said, the implementation of Move-ember was successful, with growing participation. About 60 students participated on the first day, 80 students on the second day, 90 students on the third day and 350 students and faculty came out to the Turkey Trot event. Thompson hopes to continue Move-ember in future years.

“What I’d like is for our students and adults to remember that when they have that sensation of stress in their life and they’re feeling overwhelmed, there should be a checklist of things we do,” Thompson said. “In that checklist, physical fitness and physical activity should be one of our options at all times.”

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