Movement and physical activity are critical for students’ overall well-being and now students at the High Road School of Peoria have a new outdoor space perfect for a range of activities. Recently the school community celebrated the opening of the new sport court with a ribbon cutting, balloons and cake.

“Our goal is to make learning fun and the addition of the sport court provides another opportunity for students to enjoy themselves while learning new skills,” said Theresa Mortl Smith, regional vice president.

According to the CDC, regular physical activity can help young people improve cardiorespiratory fitness, build strong bones and muscles, control weight, reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression, and reduce the risk of developing health conditions.

“Play looks different for older students so we are thrilled with the addition of a sport court for activities like basketball, foursquare, and handball. It’s important to provide healthy engagement opportunities for our kids,” said Mortl Smith.

Terrion, a 7th grade student is excited for the new sport court and said it is a spot where “kids can have fun and connect with each other.”

His teacher, Ms. Comfort agrees. “It’s important to have the sport court because it’s a great time for the kids to come outside and play during recess and have that community focus that they love so much.”

Having an outdoor space for physical activity can also help benefit students’ academic achievement. Research shows that physically active students typically have better grades, school attendance, cognitive performance, and classroom behaviors.

The High Road School of Peoria partners with local school districts to deliver customized education services for K-12 students whose needs cannot be adequately addressed in the traditional classroom. Programs are designed to manage behaviors that impede academic achievement, build transferable life skills, and generate positive outcomes.