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Battling Boredom in Afterschool: How to Get Kids Engaged in Learning While Being Physically Active

Afterschool programs can contribute greatly to boosting academic performance, promoting physical activity, and providing kids with a safe and nurturing environment.

But as educators and facilitators in charge of these programs, you understand the difficulties in finding programs students like that also keep them engaged.

One program that is showing great success in engaging students is The Walking Classroom. The program is simple: Kids listen to fun, educational podcasts while they take a 20-minute walk (about a mile). The podcasts are designed for students in grades three through eight and align with the standard curriculum.

battling-boredom-in-afterschool-webPhoto courtesy of Jennifer Blackmon.

New researchhas shown that when kids listen to these podcasts while walking—as opposed to sitting—they actually learn more of the lesson and retain more information. Teachers report that the physical activity energizes them, improves moods and even helps calm behavior issues.

"I use The Walking Classroom for an enrichment afterschool class," said Mary Foster, a New Jersey School Counselor.

"Because there are so many podcasts, students are able to design their own curricular units based on their own interests. It's exciting to see them engaged so actively in their learning."

Even kids in summer programs benefit from the program.

"The students in my summer camp love the program and they love the way it is implemented," said Shirley Johnson, Camp Director.

"They like the idea of listening to gain information as opposed to reading the information, as they are able to be outdoors at the same time."

Engage your students in learning with The Walking Classroom.

Written by Lee Ann Obringer, Communications Director for The Walking Classroom

Main image courtesy of Laura Fenn.