School Name: Buford Academy
School District: Buford City Schools
Month/year school started Power Up for 30: August 2013
Buford Academy’s school leaders were inspired to join Power Up for 30 after making an interesting observation among their students every day.
“We noticed the amount of time students spent sedentary and waiting for their day to begin,” said Kaleen Pulley, principal of Buford Academy. “We knew we could use this time to get the moving and excited to start each day so we put together a plan of action and Power Up for 30 was introduced to students last school year.”
Buford Academy’s morning exercise routine to give the students and early morning burst of energy has turned into a school wide culture of health, wellness and physical activity.
“Our program has grown and evolved into more than just morning movement,” Pulley said. “We also challenge the students with participation in programs such as Fuel Up to Play 60 and 100 Mile Club.”
Incorporating the additional 30 minutes of physical activity into Buford Academy’s school day begins bright and early each morning and is added in small increments throughout the day. A rewards system that motivates students to participate also helps maintain a high level of enthusiasm among the school’s student population.
“Students who arrive prior to 8:10 a.m. participate in Power Up for 30 before class begins,” Pulley said. “This year we added 10 extra minutes to increase the physical activity amount to 40 minutes. Students participate in outside activities such as football, soccer, basketball, running, Frisbee, and playground. We also give out green tickets to those students who are giving 100 percent effort to be used in drawings for prizes such as sports equipment.”
Since implementing Power Up for 30 in August 2013, school attendance has improved and teachers are noticing that students who weren’t exactly “morning people” now want to come to school early to participate in their Power Up for 30 morning exercise.
“I love Power Up 30. Exercise gets the students ready for the day,” said Mrs. Skilling, Buford Academy school counselor. “Many students used arrive at school looking like they just rolled out of bed. Now they arrive in their classrooms ready to learn!”
In addition to improved attendance rates, Power Up for 30 has taught the students lessons on arriving to school on time and ready to get to work.
“The students are excited to come to school early to exercise and play,” said Mrs. Buffo, 4th grade teacher. “I believe it has helped with tardiness because the kids now want to get to school early.”
With Power Up for 30, Buford Academy students now enjoy their early mornings in schools.
Mikayla in 3rd grade said, “Power Up for 30 is the best time of day because I like being active in morning.”
Others view the morning exercise as a perfect way to score additional bonding time with friends.
“I like Power Up for 30 because we get to play and see our friends,” said Cadence, a 4th grader.
For more information about Buford Academy, visit www.bufordacademy.org.