PBE Kids on the Move: How Exercise Helps Learning

If we want our kids to perform better in the classroom, they need to move.

Study after study, including an ambitious, yearlong study published in Pediatrics in 2014, show regular exercise improves kids’ test scores, their ability to concentrate, and the ease with which they effectively switch between cognitive tasks.

At PBE, students have opportunities to move before, during, and after school.

Moving first thing in the morning gets the kids primed and ready to learn, so PBE offers many choices for early-morning physical activity. Jogging Club takes place every Wednesday and Friday from 7:20 to 7:45 am on the grass field. Whole-School PE, which often takes the form of a school-wide dance party, is every Tuesday and Thursday. The play structures on the blacktop are also open for kids to use before the bell rings each morning, provided they have adult supervision.

The students have PE with Coach Gray once a week for an hour, which adds up to 200 minutes of PE every two weeks. Many teachers incorporate movement breaks into their daily instruction as a way to keep kids energized.

The exercise opportunities don’t stop after school ends. Right now there’s yoga on Tuesdays, FitKids on Thursdays, and soccer on Fridays.

Lee Miller Skiles, mother to first grader Toby, is thrilled about the exercise options available to kids at PBE. A personal trainer and fitness enthusiast, Lee grew up surroulee-running-happynded by active people.

“Being involved in sports as a female helped me learn to use my body for physical activity, which helped with my body image,” Lee said. She was an avid soccer and tennis player, and played tennis for UC Santa Cruz.

“When Toby started kindergarten last year, I was excited to see there were several options for the kids to move,” Lee said. “It helps the kids to see fitness as a positive thing, and they can have fun.”

PBE provides opportunities for our kids to move throughout the day, but it’s also important make sure they also move around after school. It doesn’t have to be through a sport or on a team. A bike ride, a game of tag, or even a living room dance party are all great easy, free ways to move—so get up and go!