PRUNTYTOWN—While students across the county have been forced to spend more time than usual behind the light of a screen, the Wellness Department at Taylor County Middle School (TCMS) has created a program to encourage their students to get up and get moving once it’s time to put the screen down.
TCMS Wellness instructor Andrew Moore shared that the Less Screen Time Initiative was formulated from the idea of a former teacher of his, who was conducting weekly drawings for students who have perfect attendance for virtual lessons.
“After reaching out to him and seeing what our sixth grade teachers were doing with giving out ice cream for students who are doing well virtually, we decided to come up with our own rewards program,” he commented.
In a profession that is aimed at getting students to partake in less screen time and be more physically active, Moore, along with colleagues Chad Gray, Scott Reed and Tia Dye wanted to create a program to help promote that ideal, despite school being conducted virtually.
“With schooling now done virtually it has created a lot of screen time for our students. We wanted to do something that would encourage our students to be active once virtual classes are over for the day,” said Moore.
He explained that students from their Monday/Thursday group and students from their Tuesday/Friday group who have been regular attendees of virtual meetings and participate in lessons have their names entered into a random name wheel.
“The wheel spins and one lucky student will receive a visit from us, and have the chance to select a piece of PE equipment that they can use at their house,” Moore disclosed.
The spinning of the wheel is recorded, and is posted to the school’s social media, along with a photo of the week’s lucky winner with their item of choice, as a way to showcase the recipients.
He said that it is the hope of those in the Wellness Department that the students will put the screen down, utilize that equipment and get some exercise.
“This is just another way our staff shows appreciation for our students’ hard work during remote learning. Although we are not in the classroom, our students remain a top priority to our teachers, administrators and staff,” voiced TCMS Assistant Principal Pam Hoskins.