Move to learn is helping students keep active locally

Health & Wellness Section 2014

From press reports

Move to Learn, a statewide movement with the goal of increasing physical activity in Mississippi kids, is returning for its second year with the addition of new fitness videos and coordinating healthy lesson plans.

Launched at the beginning of the 2012-2013 school year, Move to Learn is based on several academic studies that show a positive correlation between increased fitness and increased test scores, fewer absences and fewer disciplinary incidents in schools, across all socioeconomic and demographic levels. the Move to Learn program has been introduced at all the Louisville Municipal Schools.

“The response to Move to Learn in its first year was an overwhelming success with over 35,000 website visits and 29,000 fitness video views from all across Mississippi,” said Anne Travis, CEO of The Bower Foundation, which co-sponsors the initiative with the Mississippi Department of Education.

Through online fitness videos, Move to Learn helps form healthy behavior, which in turn improves classroom behavior and grades. Healthy children are also smart and happy children.

“This movement was created to promote healthy habits in Mississippi children, which also builds a healthy future for our state,” continued Travis. “Healthier children lead to a smarter, stronger and more educated workforce. This is a win-win for the state of Mississippi.”

While schools across the state have been using Move to Learn, this program can also be used at home. The Move to Learn website (, offers a series of online exercise videos that parents and teachers can use at no cost.

“Children can mirror the action they are doing in schools right in their own homes, creating faster, higher quality results,” said Scott Clements, Director of the Mississippi Department of Education’s Office of Healthy Schools. “If you’re doing homework or studying for a test, taking a short burst break with a Move to Learn video can refocus your energy back to the task at hand.”

The new fitness videos created for 2013 also support students’ learning.

“By introducing math, shapes, figurative language and time, the Move to Learn videos are supporting a student’s knowledge in a fun, interactive way,” said Scott Clements.

Move to Learn provides videos and lesson plans that incorporate physical fitness into the classroom. The campaign’s website,, features several five-minute exercise videos led by Larry Calhoun, an enthusiastic and committed fitness instructor in the Clinton Public School District. Additionally, the website offers a full database of lesson plans that focus both on exercise and healthy living. Move to Learn is made possible through a partnership between the Mississippi Department of Education and The Bower Foundation.

Founded in 1996, The Bower Foundation is focused on the development of strategies to improve the health of Mississippians. As a funder of important projects and initiatives throughout the state, Bower has made the development of healthy lifestyles for Mississippi children a core priority.

The Mississippi Department of Education Office of Healthy Schools (OHS) offers a system of coordinated school health services to Mississippi’s 156 school districts to assist them in developing organizations that make the connection between good student health and high academic achievement.