By Jonathan Guignard
Keeping students interested in school can sometimes be challenging, but at least one Red Deer school has implemented a program to keep kids active and excited.
École Barrie Wilson Elementary School has run the Don’t Walk in the Hallway program over the last two years.
The program promotes active hallway transport to increase physical activity.
“We know these days kids aren’t as active as they could be and need to be. We are always looking for ways to increase activity in our school environment. It’s the concept of turning a passive environment into an active one,” said Principal Chris Good.
Now in its third year, the change is noticeably different.
“We have seen some really positive changes in the kids. The kids love it, it’s a fun way to go down the hallway and it reduces discipline in the hallways,” said Good.
The concern about implementing the program was the possibility it would create chaos among students outside of the classroom.
However, Good feels it has the done the complete opposite.
“It makes the hallways more orderly because the kids are excited and all want to go through those patterns on the floor. They’ll line up and quickly and quietly hop, skip and jump as they go through the hallways,” said Good.
The program has been something that has affected the entire school.
‘It’s created a positive atmosphere. Kids like it because they’re more active and teachers like it because it makes the kids happier. We are always trying to create a positive school culture and this is one of things that help with that,” said Good.
The response from the parents have been really positive.
“I think the parents see it as a way to keep their kids actively engaged at school and it’s another way to get kids excited about coming to school,” said Good.
Don’t Walk in the Hallway is an initiative that is part of the Twenty-first Century Spaces for 21st Century Learners put on by Ever Active Schools and supported by the Alberta Government.
Fairview Elementary along with Mountview Elementary may be the next schools in the district to adopt the program.
Don’t Sit Still in Class is another program Good would like to implement in his school at some point, which focuses on finding ways to promote standing.