Win 4 Kids Finalist- Bridgeway Academy

Bridgeway_Academy_-_8000_winner.jpgThe students of Bridgeway Academy who have learning disabilities such as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) will benefit from the Active Chill Time program.

Active Chill Time allows over 100 students, ages 7-17 to excel at physical fitness. Students who have difficulty concentrating or learning in school can find a quiet spot to regroup and gather their thoughts, allowing them to refocus on learning when they return to class.

The program will implement more active “chill time” for students with ADHD. Funds from Win 4 Kids will go towards creating a space and the equipment to work out, helping eliminate any distractions from learning in the classroom. A stationary bike or elliptical machine in each classroom would be made available to students on an as needs basis. This same equipment would also be available at lunch and recess and before and after school.

Sue Blanchard, a GoodLife Fitness Member who nominated Bridgeway explains, “Bridgeway does not have funding for physical education equipment but do have gym classes. I think these kids deserve the grant because they have to work harder than most to learn. Every day is a struggle and they deserve to have a proper gym class. It would also help them focus by burning energy.”

Bridgeway will also provide basketball and hockey equipment for the students to play with before school, recess and lunch. A designated fitness room with free weights, a universal gym and a punching bag will also be available during designated times. 

Providing an outlet for aerobic activity, students will realize they can regulate their mood and attention through exercise. The brand new program will help build the self-confidence and self-esteem in the students and provide them the opportunities to realize their full potential. 

TESTIMONIAL

I’ve always struggled with what it means to truly teach and how to “Be the change you want to see in the World”. Bridgeway Academy has given that to me. I understand that to teach means to be present with our children; we must listen to their voices, read their faces and be with them always. Learning does not come from a textbook, or a teacher. Learning begins with the child and grows with the support and attention of a teacher.  Bridgeway Academy staff and students are constantly thinking outside the box to provide an environment and education that best meets the needs of our students. Having an Active Chill Time will make that environment that much more supportive in helping our students reach success that much sooner. 

- Erin, Teacher 

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The Confidence to Try #FEELGOODFRIDAY Lukas is a 10-year-old Raptors fan who plays basketball with his local chapter of Special Olympics, but it wasn’t that long ago that he was afraid to join a team. Lukas is an outgoing kid who likes to make friends and has always been very active. But his early experiences in organized physical activity were not positive. One of his biggest challenges with autism is struggling to follow directions in large groups. He was often told he was doing things wrong and even that he would embarrass the team. “These negative comments deflated his confidence, and he became afraid to try new things,” explained his mom Lisa. When he was eight, Lukas took part in the Sports of All Sorts program at the Geneva Centre for Autism. The supportive environment in the Sports of All Sorts program, funded by a GoodLife Kids grant, was a real game-changer for him. Constant encouragement and positive reinforcement gave Lukas a safe space to explore new activities without a fear of being judged. With one-on-one support he played basketball, baseball, tennis, and golf. “We’re so glad to make physical activity a regular part of Lukas’ life and we’ve found ways for him to continue practicing at home,” said Lisa. “We bought a tennis net for the backyard, and now that he’s not afraid, he loves to go to glow-in-the-dark mini-putt with his dad!” As Lukas turned around on the basketball court to wave to his mom, he gave her two big thumbs up and her eyes welled up with tears of joy. “Watching him enjoy himself, I’m overwhelmed with happiness and pride,” she shared. “He has talents! But most of all, he has regained a belief in himself – that he CAN do it – and that is so powerful.”

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