Murfreesboro kindergartners stay active through new program - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

Murfreesboro kindergartners stay active through learning program

MURFREESBORO, TN (WSMV) -

One in three kids in America is now considered obese, so a Midstate school system is stepping up efforts to get kids moving. And it's not all about recess.

At Mitchell-Neilson Primary School in Murfreesboro, kindergarten students begin their day with what leaders call action-based learning. For 45 minutes, the children stay on the move from station to station, building motor skills and soaking up the basics like shapes, numbers and colors.

It's the first year for the program implemented system-wide in Murfreesboro City Schools.

"It keeps the kids active, and the great thing about this program is our kindergartners do it every single day. So they are being physically active not only in the program, but in recess and other activities they do in the classrooms," said Meri-Leigh Smith, with Murfreesboro City Schools.

It doesn't mean recess will go away. That is required by state law.

But this is an extra effort to cut down on the state's childhood obesity numbers, and the program is proving to be a fun way to stay fit and smart.

"They are getting all of that kid energy out, so when they get back to the classroom, they are focused and ready to learn," said kindergarten teacher Casey Smotherman. "So when I'm teaching a lesson, they're not as focused on holding my pencil correctly. I'm more focused on listening and learning and figuring out what my teacher is trying to teach me."

Testing later in the year will show just how much the students are learning, but, at least for now, they are just excited about going to school.

Copyright 2013 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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