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Students bust a move for body and Mind at the 2018 Safety Patrol Picnic

May 14, 2018

In the closing days of the school year, elementary students throughout the district attended the Mark Dafeldecker Memorial Safety Patrol Picnic to Bust a Move for Body and Mind (BAM).

Created in 2014, the BAM Urban Dance program was created collaboratively to improve student health and academic achievement by providing students with the motivation to get moving. Caroll Vick, director of Education at the Arts Council of Hillsborough County, Steve Vanoer, K-12 Supervisor from HCPS Department of Physical Education and DeMario Henry, founder of Vyb Dance Company, created the program.

Research indicates that academic achievement is strongly linked to healthy lifestyle choices, which include regular engagement in moderate to vigorous physical activity. The BAM Urban Dance Program provides fifth-grade students with an opportunity to be physically active through dance.  

“One of the biggest stumbling block is that children don’t get enough exercise, so this program was created as a co-teaching model to get students motivated through dance, all students love to dance,” Vick said.

BAM utilizes a co-teaching model, pairing physical education teachers with professional dancers, and is in alignment with the Next Generation Sunshine State Standards for physical education and dance. Schools are then selected through an application process to have the BAM program provide instruction for their fifth-grade students. Professional dance instructors join the physical education teachers and provide two weeks of hip-hop dance instruction at each school.

The Arts Council of Hillsborough County also provides dance instructors for Summer of the Arts with the HOST program. It's three weeks of arts instruction -- music, visual art and dance -- at 16 elementary schools, each culminating in a summer celebration that was held June 28.

“The BAM program is amazing! It hits on all the standards, the students come out of their shell and so do some PE teachers too. We all look forward to performing at the Safety Patrol Picnic at the end of the school year,” said coach Eric Holden, physical education teacher at Foster Elementary.

The BAM program culminated in three mass student performances, performed under the direction of VYB Dance Company, at the Mark Dafeldecker Safety Patrol Picnic on May 11. Schools that participated included: Mintz, Symmes, Cahoon, Carrollwood, Foster, Kenly, Lockhart, Mango, Pride, Thonotosassa, Just, Lowry, Riverview and Roland Park.  

The picnic was a day of fun in the sun for busloads of elementary students who have helped keep their campus and peers safe throughout the school year. Over 4,000 fifth grade safety patrol students were rewarded for a job well-done at Edward Medard Park for this annual event.

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