Power of One volunteers move and learn

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Presenter Lori S. Dunn led the Power of One volunteers through a variety of movements and activities designed to ready the body and brain for learning, enhance academic skills and decrease stress and anxiety. 

Power of One volunteers gathered at the Shoreline-LFP Senior Center on February 12, 2020 for an engaging and informative afternoon of “Movement and Learning” with Lori S. Dunn, PreK-12 Physical Education and Health Literacy Program Manager for Seattle Public Schools. 

During this training, Lori shared simple ways to incorporate body and brain-stimulating movements into the work the volunteers do with students.

Gretchen Brookes (left) and Michele Lawson pair up for “1-2-3 Clap,” an activity designed to build group cohesion and relieve stress.

Sponsored by the Shoreline-Lake Forest Park Senior Center, Power of One matches volunteers 55 years and older with schools in the Shoreline school district. Volunteers give their time in a variety of ways, including tutoring, mentoring and helping in classrooms and libraries. Training and support are provided. Needs range from working with early childhood education (2-3 year olds) to high school students.

During 1-2-3 Clap, Peggy Hudson (left) and Darci Beacom learn that making mistakes is expected and welcome.

Designed to activate the right and left sides of the brain, integrating certain movements can help ready the brain for higher learning concepts like reading, comprehension, writing and math.

Watching their pointer finger while slowly drawing large figure eights sideways in the air, Power of One volunteers learn that this simple activity can improve memory, concentration and academic skills in writing, decoding written language and reading comprehension. Crossing the body’s midline helps stimulate both the right and left sides of the brain. (Front row: l to r: Dave Plude, Bill Bear, Cathy Floit and Shirley Parker. Back row: Michele Lawson and Gretchen Brooks)

In addition, specific types of movement can help improve memory, lengthen attention span, boost decision-making skills and decrease anxiety. 

Power of One volunteers learn to juggle scarves, taking care to cross the midline as they practice throwing and catching. Juggling enhances listening skills, memory, concentration, eye-hand coordination, note taking skills, and critical thinking and problem solving skills in addition to building self-confidence. (Back row: l to r: Mary Wilcox, Thelma Kauffman, Deanne Belinoff, Dave Plude and Bill Bear. Front row: Harriet Tibbits, Liz Rosenthal and Deborah Lamb.)

Through this “Movement and Learning” training, Power of One volunteers added more tools to their toolboxes for building deeper connections with students while enhancing learning in fun and simple ways.

Susan Mueller, Thelma Kauffman and Deanne Belinoff use both their dominant and non-dominant hands to spin a jack, another activity that stimulates both sides of the brain and increases concentration, coordination and problem solving skills.

Deborah Lamb, Shirley Fullner and Mary Tutch practice spinning jacks. This short and simple activity can be used before a task that requires focus and concentration.

If you would like to learn more about volunteer opportunities with the Power of One Volunteer Program, contact Terry Monette at 978-505-1709 or at terry.monette@shorelineschools.org. She will walk you through how to become a “Partner in Learning” as a Power of One volunteer.


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