LENOIR CITY, Tenn. — If you ever see Lenoir City Elementary Schools students leaping into the building, just know there is a method behind the movement.
"I want them to exercise so we do this kindergarten through 3rd grade," kindergarten teacher Leigh Wiley said.
She is talking about the PowerUp Fitness program, a Knoxville-grown exercise program that aligns physical activity with whatever students are learning in the classroom.
Lenoir City Elementary is a reward school in Loudon County and a PowerUp partner.
"It's so special to see the positive influence this program is having on students." PowerUp CEO and founder Stacey Baugues said.
She launched the organization in 2012 after realizing one important point.
"Physical activity is strongly correlated with physical performance," she said.
The program is now in five different states nationwide, and Baugues said teachers are seeing some results.
"Students are more engaged in classroom, discussion, and they're even going to the nurse less often," she added.
According to a new state report, math and reading proficiency hovers above 30% across the state.
For this reason Baugues said more and more schools are moving out of the traditional classroom.
"Physical activity is so important with student achievement," she said.
It is a trend she believes may offer a leap in achievement disparities nationwide.
"The more ways that we can apply learning through a variety of different environments the better kids are going to perform and develop their experience with learning and education," she said.
PowerUp schools do receive training. You can find more information on how to become one on its website.