Some of Fort Jackson's school aged children were taught the benefits of physical fitness during C.C. Pinckney Elementary School's Forces in Motion event Nov. 1.
One of the reasons the Forces in Motion event was put on was to "show them how to problem solve and how to use the equipment," said Dr. Kerrie Ammons, the school's speech pathologist.
Dr. Dan Ferreira, physical therapist at Pinckney, said the program helps incorporate the principles of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math, or STEM, "and apply them to fitness activities.
Forces in Motion was laid out in different stations to help children and Families learn various ways to strengthen their bodies without going to a gymnasium.
Darren Seamster, a physical education teacher at Pinckney who created the event, said Forces in Motion grew from his desire to show Families how they can work out together without going to the gym.
"I'm passionate about fitness and I'm passionate about kids. I wanted to show Families you don't have to go the gym (to stay in shape)," he said. "I know my wife struggles with the idea of, 'I can't get to the gym because my daughter is too little right now.' So you have a playground, you have a gym and I wanted to show Families how they can stay fit as a Family together even with young children."
"There are different stations with each one having a different element of, primarily core strengthening, but strengthening in general," Ferreira said.
Seamster began the event warming up participants by putting them through stretching exercises including knee hugs, toe touches and side lunges. Once completed, Seamster went through each of the 10 stations explaining how to do each exercise safely while using volunteers as his demonstrators. The stations included fitness staples such as the push-up, pull-ups, planks, squats, dips, and the dreaded burpees.
Teaching physical fitness is paramount to helping children to be healthier as they grow.
"Physical fitness is something you fall in love with when you're young," Ferreira said. "It then carries over as you stay active as you grow older." It helps lower obesity rates as well as improves cognitive functions as well.
(This article is the first in a series highlighting C.C. Pinckney's celebration of American Education Week.)