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2003 PFA All Star Teacher
Jennifer Hall

Jennifer Hall

Arlington Science Focus School
Arlington, Virginia

If you want to see a school with a vibrant, alive and thriving physical education program you need look no further than Arlington Science Focus School in Arlington, VA.
If you want to find the reason for this national exemplary school look no further than
PE Teacher Jennifer Hall.

In 2006 Jennifer competed and won a grant for Project fit America program. We saw in Jennifer a teacher who holds high expectations for each and every student and creates diverse and innovative lessons, activities and events to keep her students “hooked” on PE. Her principal wrote to us “ Ms. Hall establishes excellent rapport with her parents and provides guidance for them at home to work with their children. Ms. Hall holds Family Fitness Nights and organizes school wide participation in Hoops for Heart, Jump Rope for Heart, Pennies for Patients and Walks for the Homeless as well as a 5 K family walk/run at the school which has become a yearly event.” She does all of this and more while running top notch PE programming that deserves a national spotlight. Jennifer is the someone we hold as example that one person truly can make a difference and her efforts enrich her students to exceed all expectations!

Jennifer Hall's Programs, Activities & Teaching Philosophy

Back to 2008 All Star Teachers Showcase

All Star Update

2010 Update

Jennifer Hall, All Star Teacher 2008

It has been two years since I was named an All Star Teacher with Project Fit America. There have been many changes and exciting happenings in the physical education program since we received the PFA equipment in 2006. Our school was and continues to be inspired to have “Healthy Kids-Fit to Learn.”

It has been two years since I was named an All Star Teacher with Project Fit America. In those two years I have been focusing on fitness in new a different ways each year. My first goal was to get the Workout Wednesday program started so that parents would take over. The program is modeled after the Team Fit PFA program. On Wednesdays during recess parents are available with cards for keeping track of different PFA station activities and a running club. This year we had over 200 different students participate in the program. That’s almost half of our school. There were four parents that volunteered their time each week to help students and have commented that the program is perfect for students who would otherwise do nothing during recess. As students complete goals they are awarded PFA ribbons and we also use toe tokens as motivational tools.

I’ve been working with my brother over the past two years to develop an after school program for boys that uses the TCC concepts. There was already an international program in place for girls at our school called Girls on the Run. The goal of the program is to promote self esteem and healthy living through running. It is a wonderful program and if you don’t have it in your school, you might want to check out how you can get it. Many boys and their parents were asking why there wasn’t a program for them. My brother is a personal trainer certified in kid’s fitness and I approached him to see if he would be interested in starting a program at my school. He jumped at the chance and the program is now in its second year. He is currently in talks with other Arlington schools to expand the program next year.

Another event that is near and dear to my heart is our annual 5K and 1 Mile Fun Run and Walk. This was our fifth year and the event was better than ever. Each year the race grows and for the first time we sold all of our race slots. We invite not only our school community but the greater Washington D.C. area. Our goal is to promote family health and fitness by providing an event that families can come to and enjoy together. We have everything from first time 5K participants to local triathlons teams that participate. We hope that by opening up the event to the greater community it shows our school’s commitment to leading a healthy and active lifestyle.

One of the most exciting events that took place happened just a few months ago. I am always looking at ways to tie in real world events to the physical education program. This year we hosted the ASFS Winter Olympic games. We used a little creativity and developed modified winter events that students participated in during each class. They were all assigned countries to represent and earned points for participation in class, teamwork, sportsmanship, and bringing information from home about the Olympic Games or their country. As a culminating activity we were fortunate enough to have been selected for a special guest to come and promote our theme of a healthy and active lifestyle. On April 20, eight time Winter Olympic medalist Apolo Anton Ohno came to our school to talk to our students. It was a great event that was put on by the Century Council and PE 4 Life. We were fortunate to also have in attendance the Secretary of Education, Mr. Arne Duncan. The Washington Post covered the event:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/04/21/AR2010042101976.html

I am excited about what the future holds for our school and our program. Next year, we will be gaining a full time physical education teacher. Up to this point, I have been the only full time teacher. I have set a few goals that I look to implement over the next few years.

First, I would like for my school to work towards receiving the Virginia Governor’s Nutrition and Physical Activity award. The award is broken down into gold, silver, and bronze. I am hopeful to receive at least bronze next year and work our way into earning GOLD!!

Second, I am currently planning on expanding the Workout Wednesday program into not only recess, but my physical education classes for the day. The idea is to use just one day of the week for all students in grades 3-5 to focus solely on fitness. We would have four different fitness circuits that students rotate through in the course of a month. They would be directly related to the PFA program as well as a chance for students to work on their own personal fitness goals.

Finally, I would like to continue to promote fitness among the families in our school. This year we started a spring wellness challenge where we encouraged families to record physical activity and nutrition on logs for six weeks. The program ends in late June and I am looking forward to see how many families participated together. I’m also looking into starting a program called Movin’ Mondays. This will hopefully be a time where families will come outside and run/walk our fitness track and work on fitness activities using the PFA equipment. This idea is a work in process and still in the planning stages.

As I finish writing this up, I am looking forward to the summer. I use the time off for rest, relaxation, and rejuvenation. I’m fortunate enough to take the summers off. When people ask if I work during the summer my standard response is that I “work on my golf game.” I’m also looking forward to a trip home to see my family in Florida and my annual summer baseball trip.

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