During the 22 years that I have been lucky enough to operate HPGP, I have seen school budgets nationwide continue to shrink, forcing many to discontinue “resource classes” in favor of more focus on academics.
Along with this, I have also seen a decline in the large muscle abilities demonstrated by our Preschoolers. Although I agree that age-appropriate academics are vital for our students in preparation for Kindergarten I also feel strongly that we have a responsibility to teach the next generation how to be strong and healthy. The goal should be to have brain and body work together for a well-rounded individual.
To help facilitate better physical development in our students, in 2014 we added a new fitness component to our comprehensive Preschool curriculum. MONKEYNASTIX INTERNATIONAL visits us every Tuesday to spend 30 minutes with each of our classes. Originally we offered this opportunity to our Preschool families as an after school, add-on service for which they paid extra. But we’ve found that we liked the approach so much, we decided to have Ms. Elaine and her staff become part of our normal school day curriculum on Tuesdays!
Using Motor Skills and Having Fun
The children love using the mini trampoline, the parallel bars and many other pieces of gymnastics style equipment while the Monkeynastix instructors encourage them to try new things. We continue to see improved coordination and large muscle control in our students.
The physical fitness focus of Monkeynastix is just another component HPGP is utilizing to expand the “whole child” philosophy of teaching. To learn more detailed information about Monkeynastix and their fitness mission, check out their website at www.monkeynastix.biz. You will also see that it is a program used by organizations all over the world.