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Bon Secours Virginia Rolls Out movin’ mania School Program

Health system to provide $120,000 grant for Learnercise Mats to encourage movement and learning in Richmond-area schools

Sept. 18, 2012

Thanks to Bon Secours Virginia Health System, central Virginia educators will no longer have to choose between fitness and learning during the busy school day. Today the health system announced the movin’ mania Learnercise Mat rollout, the school component of its healthy kids initiative introduced in June. Designed to address childhood obesity, movin’ mania aims to reach approximately 100,000 children and families in the home, at school and in communities across central Virginia.

As a part of a grant from the Richmond Memorial Health Foundation, Bon Secours will give $120,000 to Richmond-area schools for SOL-compliant movin’ mania Learnercise Mats to empower educators to incorporate learning and movement in the classroom. Developed by the education and exercise physiology experts at GeoMotion, the Learnercise Mat is a research-based, developmentally appropriate classroom tool that encourages learning while moving. For example, children are directed by their teacher to jump to the correct number on their mat in one lesson called “Surf and Multiply by 7.” Children jump, clap, sing and have fun on the mats, all while learning academic content.

The health system made the announcement today with a classroom demonstration at Montrose Elementary School in eastern Henrico County. “At its core, movin’ mania is a community wide effort, and it is our privilege to partner with educators in central Virginia,” said Charlotte Perkins, chief performance management officer for Bon Secours Virginia Health System and chief architect of movin’ mania. “As part of Bon Secours’ commitment to building a healthier generation of Virginians, we are honored to provide teachers with a tool that helps them incorporate movement into the regular academic day.”

Based on knowledge from neuropsychology and brain development, the Learnercise curriculum uses multiple pathways to “wire the brain,” leading to deep contextual learning in literacy and math. The Learnercise Mats assist with the development of the whole child in three domains: psychomotor, cognitive and social/emotional.

“We know from our research that children learn better when they are moving,” said Dr. Debby Mitchell, Ed. D., founder of GeoMotion. “This is a wonderful opportunity for teachers and the medical community to come together for the benefit of our children’s health, education and overall quality of life, and we at GeoMotion are excited to be a part of it.” Bon Secours will start its educational initiative by distributing movin’ mania Learnercise Mats to 115 classrooms in Chesterfield County, Hanover County, Henrico County and the City of Richmond. Along with the mats, the teachers will receive three instructional DVDs, a set of nutrition cards, dice, desk mats and a curriculum guide. Teachers will track students’ physical activity on the mats at www.movinmania.com, where students can earn points for healthy choices and redeem them for prizes, such as sports equipment.

“Finding a way to integrate movement into the core curriculum daily is a challenge,” said Dana Baldacci, principal of Montrose Elementary School. “We are thrilled to partner with Bon Secours to give our teachers an additional resource to increase both academic achievement and fitness.” To learn more, please visit www.movinmania.com.

About Bon Secours Virginia Health System
Bon Secours Virginia provides good help to thousands of Virginians through a network of hospitals, primary and specialty care practices, ambulatory care sites and continuing care facilities across the Commonwealth. The not-for-profit health system employs about 12,000 people, including nearly 300 physicians as part of the Bon Secours Medical Group. The fourth largest and only faith-based health system in Virginia, Bon Secours Virginia offers a full range of services including cardiac, women’s, children’s, orthopaedics, oncology, neurosciences and surgery at seven award-winning hospitals.
• Bon Secours Richmond is St. Mary’s Hospital, Memorial Regional Medical Center, Richmond Community Hospital and St. Francis Medical Center.
• Bon Secours Hampton Roads is Maryview Medical Center, DePaul Medical Center and Mary Immaculate Hospital.

About movin’ mania
movin’ mania healthy kids initiative is a community wide effort to address childhood obesity in central Virginia. Led by Bon Secours Virginia Health System, movin’ mania brings together health care providers, educators, business and government leaders and families to help Virginia children lead healthier, more productive lives. With the initiative, Bon Secours aims to provide education, awareness and a foundation for healthy habits to more than 100,000 children in central Virginia. The overarching goal of the sustainable program is to alleviate chronic disease in the next generation of Virginians.

About GeoMotion Group, Inc.
GeoMotion Group, Inc. is an innovative fitness and learning leader, providing fun, safe and easy methods and products to encourage learning, physical activity and fitness. GeoFitness, Dance and Learnercise products are movement-based products and curriculum that are developmentally appropriate, easy to use, and cost effective to increase fitness and academic achievement. Based in Orlando, FL GeoMotion Group, Inc was founded in 2002 by Dr. Debby Mitchell, Ed.D. Curriculum & Instruction, BA/MA Physical Education, Retired Associate Professor and Coordinator of Sports and Fitness, College of Education, University of Central Florida. Dr. Mitchell started GeoMotion Group because of her passion to get children more physically active while learning.

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