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APSU students lead innovative fitness program for homeschoolers

By: Victoria Godinez July 9, 2024

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Homeschooled students in grades K-8 participate in a free health and fitness program at Austin Peay State University’s Dunn Center. | Photo by Victoria Godin

CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. - Students from Austin Peay State University’s Department of Health and Human Performance recently hosted a free fitness and wellness program for homeschooled K-8th graders that helped over 200 attendees get active and build healthy habits.

Dr. Alex Adams and Dr. Kadi Bliss oversaw the program, which allowed their public health and physical education students to gain practical experience in health education. The initiative’s success highlights the growing interest in bringing health and physical education to alternative learning environments.

“These experiences are vital for our students because they allow them to transition smoothly from theoretical knowledge to real-world teaching scenarios,” Adams said. “The program allows our students to experiment with different teaching methods and activities to ensure a fun and engaging learning experience for the children.”

Students were tasked with designing age-appropriate fitness lessons, accommodating diverse learning styles and leveraging feedback to enhance their teaching effectiveness. Bliss said she appreciated how the program allowed her students to engage with multiple age groups while honing their teaching skills.

“For the homeschool students, I think this is a unique opportunity for them to get health and physical education instruction,” she said. “Research shows that healthy students are better learners, and I love that these parents are prioritizing health and physical education for their children.”

Adams said the program is significant because it bridges theoretical knowledge with practical teaching experiences. By offering a free resource to the homeschool community, it not only benefits future educators but also provides homeschooled children with access to health and physical education instruction.

“I am appreciative of the staff and faculty involved in planning and executing the program,” said Krystal Burgard, a parent whose two sons participated in the program. “This program had a positive impact on the well-being of my sons and increased their enthusiasm for learning.”