GoNoodle program comes to Shawnee County elementary schools



TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – It might be hard for your child in elementary school to stay focused through an entire day of school work. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas has teamed up 14 Kansas counties — including Shawnee County — for a program to keep students focused. Most students can expect to be in school anywhere between 6 to 8 hours a day. Even a break for recess isn’t enough physical activity for some students. Now, Meadows Elementary School in Topeka, is participating in the ‘GoNoodle’ program.

Before or after recess, students in any Shawnee County elementary school can get a burst of energy for three to five minutes to keep them focused in between subjects.

“After you do the GoNoodle, sometimes you feel a little bit more active,” Third Grader at Meadows Elementary School, José Marin-Alvaravo said. “And when you feel more active you have more energy to learn and pay attention to the teacher.”

The program has high energy dance music, fitness routines, virtual field trips and physical challenges.

“We did want to look at ways we could help bring activity in a way that a way that was not disruptive,” Director of Blue Health Initiative, Virginia Barnes said. “We’re asking teachers to do more, but could help students have more activity and more fun.”

But, GoNoodle videos aren’t always just about getting students more energized. Teachers can play videos to calm students down too.

“The calming ones a mostly sitting and closing their eyes and sometimes we can turn off the lights,” Third Grade Teacher, Elena Velez said. “And that also helps them just to calm down before they have to take a test.”

Researchers show that short bursts of movement throughout the day will improve students’ behavior, focus and overall health. And students at Meadows Elementary School seem to like the program.

“We just had a lot of fun doing those programs for kids,” Marin-Alvaravo said.

Shawnee County was one of the first counties to be selected since Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas has its headquarters here. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas plans to expand the program to nine more counties next school year.

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