September 9, 2010 at 9:17 a.m.
Teachers at Wyoming Elementary participated in a seminar August 30 to learn about how to effectively incorporate stability balls into their classrooms. Witt Fitt , a company located in Hudson, Wisconsin that specializes in providing training, educational materials and products for stability ball integration led the activities. The training focused on the Learning in Motion teacher manual as well as the benefits of students using a stability ball as an alternative to chairs. The teacher manual provides a series of lessons where students 'earn' their stability ball through a series of lessons. Stability balls allow for "active sitting" throughout the school day and improve posture, enhance attention and concentration, improve blood flow and strengthen core muscles.
Wyoming Principal Mike Conway and Gina Lindholm, Student Activities Council Coordinator, are members of the Wyoming Area Community Leadership Team, part of the Statewide Health Improvement Program (SHIP). SHIP provided funding for the training as well as stability balls for the pilot project.
Wyoming Elementary continues to work in conjunction with SHIP efforts to establish healthy behaviors among youth by supporting physical activity and nutrition practices in school. A group of five teachers from Wyoming Elementary met monthly over the summer with Chisago County SHIP representatives to plan for the implementation of stability balls.
Chisago County residents interested in learning more about SHIP and how they can become involved are encouraged to contact SHIP Coordinator, Kari Mattson at 651 329 2663 or visit www.health.state.mn.us/healthreform/ship.