Noah Frost, 8, does a jumping-jack with his classmates on Wednesday. (Aaron Hinks photo)

White Rock students fuelling the brain with exercise

Eaton Arrowsmith adopts exercise routine

The teachers at White Rock’s Eaton Arrowsmith are providing fuel for the brain, and the students seem to enjoy every seven minutes of it.

Since the beginning of the year, students at the school have been participating in a high-intensity workout two to three times during the school day.

Officials invited Peace Arch News to watch one of the sessions Wednesday, in the midst of Brain Awareness Week.

The students divided the seven minutes into intervals of jumping-jacks, squats, push-ups, crunches, planks and running in place.

Following the workout, three students – out of breath – approached PAN to share their thoughts on the school’s pilot project.

“I like doing it because it’s helping my brain and it’s good exercise. It has made a lot of improvements for my brain,” Noah Frost, 8, told PAN.

The daily exercise, Noah said, improves his focus during his education time blocks and also “strengthens my weaknesses.”

Aiden Hass, 12, and his twin brother, Caihlem agreed that the daily activity helps them wake up in the morning, and both said they have made improvements in their school work.

“It makes me feel really good,” Aiden said.

“When we’re normally sitting down for half an hour at a time, it really feels good to do an exercise because I can stretch.”

Planking, Caihlem said, is his favourite part.

“It’s really hard to do, it’s challenging,” he noted, adding that he’s continuously improving his time.

Students in Grades K-12 at Eaton Arrowsmith – one of 100 schools that offer Arrowsmith programming–work to strengthen their cognitive weakness. The end goal is to transition the students into the public or private school system.

The White Rock school has 18 full-time students and eight part-time, and each student has a program tailored to their cognitive weakness, explained principal Kelsey Hanna.

“What we know from research is that students with learning disabilities have less active prefrontal cortexes than their non-learning disabled peers,” Hanna said. “It’s part of our brain that’s responsible for executive functioning, attention, impulsive control and reasoning.”

Research has shown, Hanna noted, that exercise can wake up that area of the brain. It can give people an attention boost and improve their cognitive ability.

“We’re finding that immediately after those breaks, the kids are more focused. They’re not groggy.”

Hanna explained that brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is a protein in the brain that acts like a fertilizer that’s released when people exercise.

“They’re working on strengthening their brains. We have to do this. It’s not a matter of if, it’s more of a matter of when,” Hanna said.

The project is being piloted at Eaton Arrowsmith’s White Rock location to see if it would make a fit in its other locations. Eaton Arrowsmith CEO Sarah Cohen said a group of Arrowsmith principals gave the seven-minute exercise a trial run.

Cohen, who practises the seven-minute routine with her family, said the students were told that the media would be visiting the school. She said the students were humbled, and excited to share how the program could help other people.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Eaton Arrowsmith clear the classroom to make space for a seven-minute activity Wednesday. (Aaron Hinks photo)

Eaton Arrowsmith students hold a plank as part of their seven-minute exercise. (Aaron Hinks photo)

Just Posted

Police watchdog finds cops blameless for deaths in 2019 Surrey hostage-taking

Woman was killed as ERT officers fired on man holding a knife to her throat and ‘what appeared to be’ a gun in his hand

COVID-19: Daily update on the pandemic in Surrey, White Rock and beyond

APRIL 1: Take care digging while social distancing, catalytic converters stolen from ambulances

Supreme Court upholds White Rock council decision on Lady Alexandra development

Planned 12-storey highrise on lower Johnston Road was stalled in 2018

Some Surrey landlords ‘kicking out’ businesses that can’t make rent

Surrey Board of Trade CEO suspects situation will be worse in May

First Nations, remote communities need special attention in pandemic, Freeland says

Health-care workers, seniors, Indigenous Peoples some of people most at risk, health officials say

VIDEO: Dog missing in Lower Mainland since winter sees his family again for the first time

Aldergrove helped find Buster, says dad, who has now witnessed ‘the power of social media’

COVID-19: Social media use goes up as country stays indoors

Overall messaging is up more than 50 per cent over the last month

Some April Fool’s Day jokes bring much-needed laughter; others tone deaf to COVID-19

Police are warning the public not to use the ongoing pandemic as a punchline

Canada’s 75% wage subsidy is coming, but not for several weeks: finance minister

Subsidy will cost Canada $71 billion, but push down cost of emergency benefit, Morneau said

Call before you dig into spring projects during isolation: BC 1 Call

BC 1 Call gives free checks for utilities in the area of a desired outdoor project

B.C.’s intersection speed cameras putting more tickets in the mail

One Nanaimo location delayed after speed limit reduced

Update: Coquihalla re-opens, after incident requiring a medevac

DriveBC warns of continued delays and congestion

B.C. records five new COVID-19 deaths, ‘zero chance’ life will return to normal in April

Province continue to have a recovery rate of about 50 per cent

Most Read

l -->