"If you provide it, they will play."
Kirstin Schwass, Physical Education Teacher, SouthFields Village Public School
Physical Education teacher Kirstin Schwass has spent the past 17 years noticing two constants when it comes to schools, students and physical literacy: Despite the variety of sports offered to Junior and Intermediate students there’s a finite number that can be selected as part of a team. And there are many students too intimidated to take part in try-outs, often because they lack confidence in their own abilities.
From this developed a puzzle — how to boost the physical literacy of less active students? For Kirstin it was simple, provide students the opportunity to participate in a fitness program.
“I went to each class and spoke to the students about the benefits of regular exercise and I explained how it can positively affect their bodies and brains,” said Kirstin. “I invited them to participate in my free exercise and training program that would start at 7:25 a.m. [Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays]”
Using the Functional Fitness Charts, which were designed to improve agility, balance, strength and flexibility, Kirstin, with the hope of boosting attendance, sent out a letter informing parents about her new, early morning fitness program B-4 School (Build A Better Body and Brain), explaining the program’s goals — improve students' physical literacy while also helping to boost confidence and competence.