The Manorhaven Elementary School has launched a new program that focuses on cognitive development and kinesthetic learning through physical activity.

Last year, the school received national recognition “for its commitment to integrating physical activity into students’ daily routines,” a news release said. The school was one of 12 schools in the country to win the Fit Active “Let’s Move” award.

As a result, Kidsfit, an organization that helps schools incorporate physical activity into the classroom, offered to equip a fifth-grade kinesthetic classroom with equipment for students to improve learning.

Kidsfit also hosted its tristate training conference at the school. It trained six Manorhaven teachers and the principal, Bonni Cohen, in the Action Based Learning initiative.

According to the release, Action Based Learning, or brain-based learning, “refers to instructional methods, lesson designs and programs based on the latest scientific research about how the brain learns, including how students learn differently as they age and grow.”

“Children can learn better through movement and rhythm, opening up their brain to receive information better through greater focus and attention,” Cohen said. “Brain research supports the link of movement and physical activity to increased academic performance, self-esteem, communication and cooperation.”

The Manorhaven PTA aided Kidfit’s contribution, the release said, and funded kinesthetic equipment in classrooms in grades two to four. 

“Our partnership with Kidsfit enables us to help keep our students healthy, happy, moving and learning across all disciplines while being exposed to the benefits of kinesthetic and action-based learning,” said a Manorhaven physical education teacher, Megaera Regan.

The Ed. Foundation,  a nonprofit organization that supports learning initiatives, funded a grant to purchase an Action Based Learning lab for students from kindergarten to second grade.

The release said that additional equipment will be incorporated into physical education for all students, including the special needs program.

“We hope to expand on this program in future years,” said the superintendent of schools, Dr. Kathleen Mooney. “This is transforming the way students receive and process information while promoting health and wellness, for which Manorhaven and our district have been at the forefront for quite some time.”

By Stephen Romano
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