Moses Moves More: pilot program with Bismarck-Burleigh Public Health gets kids moving

Published: Sep. 20, 2022 at 3:02 PM CDT
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - There is a lot of research that tells us the more kids move, the better they learn.

At Bismarck’s Dorothy Moses Elementary, they’re putting that research to the test. Thanks to a grant from Bismarck-Burleigh Public Health, they’ve expanded their running club to include walking, biking and even rollerblading.

Not only have they seen more kids participate, but they’re also noticing a difference in the classroom.

Second grader Shae Metzger is on the move. On this day, she decided to ride her bike.

“You get more exercise than walking,” Metzger said.

She’s hoping to make three laps around her school before the bell rings. She’ll get a puff ball for every lap she completes. Then, she puts that puff ball in her class jar.

“Classrooms and grade levels are competing to earn the most puff balls that they possibly can,” explained Moses P.E. Teacher Jon Krantz.

At the end of the program, the class with the most puff balls will win a prize. The real prize though is getting kids moving more.

Four days a week, kids and staff make laps around the building. Some are on foot, others on bikes and even rollerblades.

“We called it ‘Moses Moves More.’ Whatever you want it to bring to ride to move around to just keep moving,” said Krantz.

“You can be pushed in your wheelchair. Just getting out to move your body in the way that works for you is really what we’re encouraging here,” added Katie Johnke, nutrition services coordinator for BBPH.

Each lap around the school is about a half mile. Most students do at least two laps, some do more. When they’re done, they’re ready to focus and learn.

“We just want kids moving. That’s the whole point. It helps with not just the obesity issue, but it also helps with learning and attention and that kind of stuff,” said Krantz.

“Research shows that any movements in little blocks of time, especially related to academics, is very high,” said Johnke.

And for Krantz, it’s a chance to spend a little extra time with his students in a more informal setting. With each lap he makes, he hopes he can inspire students to move more.

Moses Moves More is a pilot program. Bismarck-Burleigh Public Health would like to expand the program to more schools.