By Tina Snell, Staff Writer
Flyer Jams is one of the newer innovations at Lindbergh Elementary School in Little Falls. It has students up and moving during the school day, doing exercises and not just in physical education classes.
“It is proven that the more movement a person has, the more oxygen goes to the brain,” said Lindbergh Elementary physical education teacher Jeremy Stadum. “With more oxygen, the students are thinking clearer.”
Stadum said that today, there is huge pressure on the students to succeed. More is expected of them due to state standards.
“It’s the world we live in,” Stadum said. “When cuts occur in the schools, physical education is one of the first to go or be reduced. Students need to move to do well.”
Jams, which stands for Just move; A healthy diet; Make sure to hydrate; and Sleep eight – 10 hours a night, is currently only at Lindbergh Elementary School, but Stadum said the other schools are looking at implementing the idea.
Supt. Stephen Jones recently sent members of the Wellness Committee to workshops centered around promoting movement during the day. Before attending, each of the schools had to come up with an action plan. Lindbergh’s plan was Flyer Jams.
The program uses the school’s technology and the classroom smart boards to show one – five minute films several times a day. The exercises are developed so the students can to do them alongside their desks.
“Each morning at 8:40 a.m., one of the 20 films we’ve made is shown,” said Stadum. “Then periodically during the day, at the teacher’s inclination, other films are shown to students who may be getting restless.”
Each Jam session begins with stretches, then four or five exercises to get the blood moving and finishes with cool-down stretches.
Stadum uses four – five students who have shown Flyer pride to star in the films shown Monday through Thursday.
“They are so excited to be part of it,” he said. “On Fridays, though, we have special guests starring in the films. Everyone looks forward to seeing who it will be each week.”
So far, Stadum has made film stars of the sports teams and individuals who have gone to state. They include the Nordic Ski team, gymnast Rachelle LeBlanc and members of the wrestling team doing simple exercises to keep the Lindbergh students moving throughout the day.
“At 9 a.m., on the day when the Nordic team started their race at Biwabik, the school timed that morning’s Jam to race with the skiers. When the team returned, they said they felt the students with them which spurred them on and they had their best race yet, finishing fifth place in the state,” he said.
Stadum has also filmed the kitchen employees, the office staff and teachers as special guest stars.
“We are having so much fun making the films,” he said. “We laugh until tears run down our faces.”
But, Stadum continues to outdo himself in making his films. He has gone to the community for future Friday stars, hoping to make films featuring the local fire department, police, doctors and people from Camp Ripley. He’s even thinking about getting professional sports people to star in his short exercise films.
By mixing it up with the stars of the week, it has kept the students from becoming bored with the same old routine. Stadum said the students look forward to seeing who will be in the videos each week, especially on Fridays.
“This has been more than I ever imagined it would be,” said Stadum. “It’s lots of work, but worth it.”