During the months of November and December, the Chicago Run Staff assisted one of our partner schools (Chicago West Side Christian) during their Wednesday Academy sessions. Wednesday Academy happens one hour a week while teachers are gathering for their professional development time. Volunteers and after-school staff lead students in a variety of activities that foster creativity, critical thinking, problem solving, and social-emotional development. Our staff worked specifically with the fourth grade students once a week doing 30 minutes of physical activity and 30 minutes of script writing for a Chicago Run fitness video. The first two weeks were a bit challenging, trying to figure out the routine and what worked and what did not work. We soon realized that the more Chicago Run staff members we had the smoother each visit was.
The first two weeks we developed worksheets to help the students come up with a theme for their workout. Once a theme was created, the students then brainstormed different exercise moves that correlated with their theme. This step probably took the longest but once they started to get creative the rest was easy! It also really helped having so many Chicago Run staff members there so the kids could bounce their ideas off of them and get their input. The students used templates made by Chicago Run to help them write their first draft and eventually a full indoor fitness script was created. The kids really had fun coming up with different themes for their workouts! The themes ranged from different sports to dance moves and we even had one that was jungle themed!
The final script was recorded by the students and then filmed by the staff at Chicago Run. This whole project was a great way for these kids to get excited about getting physically active while creating something that was their own. We wanted to show what the amount of effort and creativity it takes to write and film the videos we have on our website from start to finish! It was a great experience and each student came up with great ideas! I can't wait to see what the next group of kids comes up with the next time Chicago Run does this activity!
Reflection by Jackie Webb, Coach Across America Coach at Chicago Run