The LAUNCH curriculum consists of fun, physical activities that includes topics such as conflict resolution, personal safety, hygiene, nutrition, stress reduction and more.
With winter months approaching, it is important to keep our children as active as possible. The 60-minute program encourages children in grades K-7 to lead a healthy lifestyle and empowers them to learn traits such as honesty, respect, communication and responsibility.
October was bullying awareness month, so LAUNCH coordinator Stephanie Henderson based many of the after school activities on the topic.
"We start each session off with a short lesson geared towards our topic for the week or month. We try to have the overarching theme be social, or emotional based topics, like bullying, kindness, goal setting, honesty, teamwork, etc. We incorporate games and physical activities that tie in with our weekly topic, that way children can have fun while they're learning." Said Henderson
Even as early as preschool classrooms are focusing more on mental activity over physical activity in order to prepare students to meet curriculum requirements and standardized test scores later in their education. LAUNCH focuses on much more than mental development, expanding social, emotional and physical development as well.
"Every session we try to take the children outside. We think it’s important for them to get the chance to run around and play outside. Many of them don't get that opportunity often because of where they live or their busy schedules at home. I try to prove that being healthy can be fun and it’s not just about eating broccoli and running a mile!” Henderson continued
Often times the children at Square One are faced with a variety of challenges, coming from single-parent homes, or environments where parents have little time to devote to regular daily activity and movement with their children. LAUNCH aims to work closely with these children in a nurturing, fun & supportive environment where kids can just be kids.
The benefits of being active for young children include:
- promoting healthy growth and development
- helping to achieve and maintain a healthy weight
- building strong bones and muscles
- improving cardiovascular fitness
- improving balance, coordination and strength
- maintaining and developing flexibility
- improving posture
- assisting with the development of gross motor and fine motor skills
- providing the opportunity to develop fundamental movement skills
- helping to establish connections between different parts of the brain
- improving concentration and thinking skills
- improving confidence and self-esteem
- relieving stress and promoting relaxation
- providing opportunities to develop social skills and make friends
- improving sleep.