Children are physical beings, brimming with energy and enthusiasm. Physical Education at the Russell Byers Charter School acknowledges this simple truth and turns it into a natural opportunity for learning—both to build healthy bodies and to create healthy attitudes about work, play, teamwork, and conflict resolution. A major goal of the Physical Education program is to incorporate outward bound activities that teach students how to work together to accomplish a task. This helps the students learn about themselves as well as accept others’ feedback.
One of the first goals of the RBCS program is to simply encourage students to become comfortable with physical education, and activities are structured to build skills in an age-appropriate manner. The two main aspects of skill development involve learning about movement and learning games and sports. The regular routine of physical education teaches balance, coordination, proper form, and exercises that promote fitness—as well as introducing students to structured activities that they can play in school, at home, or in other sports programs.
The Physical Education program also increases students’ knowledge about good health. Students begin to recognize improvements in their own wellbeing, and they also learn how to keep their body in good condition by strengthening the heart and lungs, building muscle, and attaining flexibility. Students also learn that by making wise decisions about drugs, tobacco, and alcohol, they will remain productive, active, and sound throughout their lives. When children appreciate their bodies and enjoy how they feel when healthy, they are much less likely to make poor lifestyle choices as they get older.
In related areas, physical education by its nature raises issues around safety, teamwork, and fair play. Physical activities become clear object lessons about these more abstract themes, and young students, who may be less advanced in their verbal skills but comfortable acting out physically, learn to understand and redirect their impulses.
The RBCS physical education program not only helps students perform better in the classroom right now, but it gives them the tools to become better friends, team players, and citizens in the future.