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Building School District Capacity in Physical Activity Virtually Reaches 18,000 Students!

| California

Mar 16, 2021

Six hundred teachers at Alvord Unified in Riverside County discovered ways to make physical activity breaks fun in the virtual classroom.  They used lessons from the CalFresh Healthy Living, University of California Cooperative Extension (CFHL, UCCE) team.  The team provided a virtual professional development training for teachers, which helped them effectively reach 18,000 students. 

zoom call with images of students and a premade exercise list in two columns; first column 1 Jumping Jacks, 3, arm circles, 5 jump in place; 2nd column 2 squats, 4 calf raises, 6 lunges - CFHL, UCCE team demonstrates a brain break activity during a virtual class

CFHL, UCCE presented ‘Brain Breaks in the Virtual World’ session to elementary, middle, and high school teachers.  The presentation included: 

  • four virtual physical activity break demonstrations 
  • a teacher resource list with links to virtual physical activity videos

The feedback was overwhelmingly positive: 230 responded to a poll with 88% indicating that they are “very likely” or “likely” to schedule a physical activity break during their virtual lessons. A 3-month follow-up survey indicates that teachers’ implemented virtual physical activity breaks with over 3,100 students.

“We believe that your workshop helped empower and reduce the anxiety of our teachers as they started the school year teaching over 18,000 students remotely using the technology and resources that we introduced during the summit.” 
-AUSD Administrator


“I notice that they (students) are more energetic and talkative (which is what I want in my setting, peer collaboration) after a brain break. You can totally see a physical reaction after as well. The majority are sitting upright in front of their Chromebooks. I have also noticed more smiling”.
-AUSD teacher responded to the 3-month follow-up survey

State Contacts:
Kamaljeet Singh-Khaira
Andra Nicoli

Local Contact Name:
Claudia Carlos, CalFresh Healthy Living, UC Program Supervisor


Three logos: Calfresh Healthy Living; University of California; UCCE University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources