Beaverton schools host Chinese PE teachers

Beaverton schools participating in the Active Schools Innovation Exchange

Students at Raleigh Park Elementary School participate in the Active Schools Innovation Exchange, October 5 2017. (KOIN)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Gym class at Raleigh Park Elementary School was a little bit different on Thursday morning.

“We’re really on a mission to create just that culture of movement,” Beaverton Schools Curriculum Specialist Cheryl Wardell tells KOIN 6 News.

To help with that, the district hosted 28 innovative phys-ed teachers all the way from China, thanks to a partnership with Nike.

“It’s really great when we can bring together great innovators from one country to another country and exchange that best practice of ideas,” Nike General Manager of Community Impact Caitlin Morris says.

Those teachers gave some of the students a demonstration of what gym class is like on the other side of the Pacific, and they talked with American teachers about what inspires them.

“I see my school students, kids, as my best friends. We are playmates together and they see me the same way. That’s why they love my class and I love them,” Phys-Ed Teacher Lyu Shaowu says.

The event is the latest in a number of interesting ways schools are trying to get kids more active. At Raleigh Park, one classroom has a ‘brainboost’ where they dance before they start writing, because studies show exercise and activity pay off in the classroom.

“Our classroom teachers are excited because they see the result with our children and more focus,” Wardell says.

“We believe that kids were not made to sit still, they were made to play,” Morris says.