Third grade students at Simon Kenton Elementary participate in the Go Noodle program sponsored by Mercy Health. The program combines educational material with physical activities. BILL LACKEY/STAFF

Springfield, Urbana students dance, learn with new school program

Clark and Champaign County students have a new, fun way to practice their multiplication tables and other important educational topics.

Go Noodle was played in every classroom last week. The videos feature high-energy dance music, virtual field trips, mindfulness videos and physical challenges aligned with core competencies, according to the company. Kenton Elementary third-graders were seen dancing to the music and having a good time answering grade-appropriate questions during a demonstration.

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“It is used throughout our entire school, Kindergarten through 6th grade,” Simon Kenton teacher Tiffany Adams said. “The students have absolutely loved it and inquired about using it at home with their families.”

Local students were able to use the program because of Mercy Health, which bought it for local schools in the two-county area.

“We are all about health and it starts with prevention,” said Vice President of Mission Integration at Mercy Health Springfield Marieanna Pontina. “And really with children, it’s important to make sure they are active and understanding what’s good for them.”

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Local schools will have the program for three years thanks to Mercy Health’s investment.

Through increased movement and mindfulness in the classroom, the company says students are improving their health while boosting cognitive processing, focus and academic performance.

“The feedback is great and the students absolutely love it,” Go Noodle representative Nick Abruzzo said.

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Parents of local students can use the program at home by going online and/or downloading an app for free, Abruzzo said.

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