Move to Learn: A new way to learn

Pre-k and kindergarten students at East Side Elementary are up and moving with Move to Learn.
Staff Writer

Larry Calhoun and Move to Learn came to East Side Elementary Friday morning to show teachers a new way to keep kids focused and alert in school. Move to Learn is a teaching tool to allow teachers to stop for five minutes to give students a brain break.

"It allows them to release pent up energy," Calhoun said. "It can redirect behavior. It's mean to be done between transitioning from one center to another. Teachers can access the videos online or through YouTube."

Move to Learn is made possible by a grant from the Bower Foundation who partner with the Mississippi Department of Education.

"This is a free program," Calhoun said. "Teachers can download from the website or access it through YouTube. It is all made possible thanks to the Bower Foundation."

Calhoun taught fifth and sixth grades in Clinton. He knows what challenges teachers experience in the classroom.

"I came in every day wearing brightly colored clothes and smiling," Calhoun said. "You have no idea what type of home life these kids could be coming from. I wanted to make them feel loved and wanted. I needed to make them want to come to school."

Calhoun said his role was to keep the students engaged and wanting to learn more.

"I want to help teachers do that every day," Calhoun said. "I know teachers are reaching into their own pockets to try and bring something fun and interesting into their classrooms. This is something we can offer to teachers that doesn't cost them anything."

There has been a paradigm shift in classrooms. If something didn't work well 20 years ago, it won't work at all now, Calhoun said.

"Some of us remember 'School House Rock' on Saturday morning," Calhoun said. "That worked. It was learning that was fun. And a lot of us still remember those lessons set to music. Music is therapy for the soul. It makes us happy and want to dance. That's what those five minute breaks with Move to Learn does. Then the students can refocus on the lesson."

Calhoun said he came from a rough neighborhood growing up. But his teachers helped him to know that through education he could rise above where he came from and do anything in life.

"I'm paying those teachers back," Calhoun said. "They made me read until I loved to read, write until I loved to write, talk until I could talk to anyone. Teachers need all the help they can get. The future is in their hands."

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