Professional Development

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How to Address Learning Loss and Promote SEL Post-Pandemic

Now that there' s a light at the end of the virtual learning tunnel, it's time to get youth back into normal routines, back on track with learning and back to a happier emotional state.

Programs that incorporate much-needed physical activity with core content learning and social and emotional learning (SEL) help youth get the exercise they desperately need, engage different learning styles so youth can catch up academically, and bring joy to learning. This combination creates a win-win for everyone—whether youth are in school or at home.

"Our district is always looking for comprehensive after school materials that disguise learning in innovative and creative methods," said Molly Kemp, Administrator of Academic Support Programs at Washington Elementary School District in Arizona. "The Walking Classroom is the perfect fit! It has academic benefits AND supports students' mental and physical needs."

The Walking Classroom is a series of youth-friendly educational podcasts on language arts, social studies, and science that youth listen to while they walk. The program builds core content knowledge while boosting physical fitness, health literacy, and social and emotional understanding. The program combats the learning loss and inactivity that's been so prevalent due to the pandemic and improves the physical, academic and mental health of youth.

Each 15-minute podcast begins with a brief health message and also weaves a character value (empathy, confidence, respect, perseverance, etc.) throughout the core podcast narrative. Lesson plans guide educators in helping student understanding.

After Walking Classroom lessons, educators report that youth are happier, calmer and more focused. The program builds self-confidence because it presents information in a way that addresses different learning styles, so youth who struggle academically—many of whom have struggled greatly during the pandemic—can often catch up to their peers.

Learn how The Walking Classroom actively engages youth in afterschool.

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

Courtesy of The Walking Classroom.

Photo courtesy of Keith Partyka.