In a recent article in the GreenvilleOnline, "Active Students Linked to Better Academic Performance," Legacy Charter School, located on two campuses in Greenville's Westside (South Caroline), is the shining example to a school that puts an emphasis on healthy eating and fitness. Students are required to take physical education five days a week, said William Brown, the school's founder and board chairman.
Legacy Charter School has no vending machines and their cafeteria doesn't serve any fried foods. Their fitness center impressively contains several stationary bikes, treadmills and weight machines. They even have Zumba classes.
All of this is a part of Legacy Charter School's 45-minute-a-day exercise program created by reseracher Dr. Julian Reed out of Furman University. He has been charting the growing link between physical activity and brain function in children, which he says, could change the role of physical education in schools nationwide.
“Dr. Reed’s findings demonstrate that our vision is becoming a reality,” Brown said. “Children who are fit do dramatically better academically. There are less behavior issues, there is less absenteeism, and if you think about it, it makes sense because they just feel better.”
“The cognitive abilities that we’re measuring with these kids is the ability to think, the ability to reason, the ability to organize in your brain — all very important things that you need when you’re in school,” Reed said.
“The data is clear,” he said. “Daily PE is not only going to promote longevity of life, qualify of life, but why kids are in school to begin with — to learn.”
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