Program teaches Mohawk ECE students how to instill healthy lifestyle habits in young children
Twenty-four first-year Early Childhood Education students from Mohawk College received training to help preschoolers and school age children stay healthy and fit thanks to a grant from the Ontario Ministry of Sport and Recreation Community Fund.
The program the students received trained for is called Run, Jump, Throw (RJT). RJT is a national program from Athletics Canada that is designed to develop fundamental movements to support physical activity in young children. RJT aims to give children a physical activity program that is a strong foundation for all sports so they grow in to adults who are physically active, have lower obesity rates and overall better health.
“When children are able to run, jump and throw, hop, skip and jump properly, they are more likely to want to take part in sports later on in life,” says Kathy Kemp, an Early Childhood Education professor at Mohawk College. “These critical stages in the early years, are crucial to help build basic skills and to set children on the right track to becoming and staying physically literate.”
Kemp says the two-day training program which included a mix of in class education, physical drills and lesson plan development qualifies the Mohawk students as nationally recognized RJT instructors. The training highlighted fundamental skills such as balance, coordination, endurance and confidence, she added. The students will be able to apply the RJT knowledge in their field when working with preschoolers and school age children.
“(RJT training) was a wonderful experience,” says first-year ECE student Leigh Wetherup. “It was informative and supportive to the work we do in our field. After the Run, Jump, Throw Training I now feel more competent and excited to incorporate physical literacy into my daily curriculum.”
The RJT training was provided by Physical Literacy for All Hamilton in partnership with Athletics Ontario and Blessed Sacrament Basketball. The classes were run at the Eva Rothwell Resource Centre in Hamilton this week.
Mohawk College educates and serves 30,000 full-time, part-time, apprenticeship and international students at three campuses and two City School locations at the Eva Rothwell Resource Centre and the Central Public Library in Hamilton, Ontario. Mohawk has ranked first among all Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area colleges in student satisfaction for seven consecutive years and first in graduate satisfaction for the past five years. Mohawk ranks 15th among all colleges in Canada for applied research activity and has been named among Canada’s greenest employers and the region’s top employers for the past three years.