National Physical Fitness & Sports Month – LZX Team Feature: Michelle

Active Kids MyPlate PosterTo continue our posts for National Physical Fitness & Sports Month, we’re featuring another LZX employee’s thoughts and stories on physical activity. Today’s post is all about Michelle. Michelle is new to the LZX team, and we are thrilled to have her.

She works in both our Customer Service and Shipping Departments and does a fantastic job. Here’s what she has to say about sports and activity. Enjoy!

What was your favorite sport/activity as a kid and why?

I enjoyed playing softball and basketball growing up.  I grew up watching baseball and basketball with my dad.  I enjoy the fast pace of basketball and the fact that it truly is a team sport.  Softball is also a team sport but is a little more individual when it comes to hitting and fielding.

What is your favorite sport/activity as an adult and why?

Softball and volleyball.  I enjoy getting together with friends one night a week to compete doing something that we love.  It’s a good way to interact with others as well as stay active. 

Tell us your favorite sports/activity memory.

Playing with the marching band on the 4th of July in Washington, D.C., in front of the White House.  We were also able to tour the White House, and you are not allowed to do that anymore – definitely one of my favorite memories.

Did you play sports in High School? College? Tell us about it!

In High School, I was in marching band.  I didn’t start up softball and volleyball again until after I finished school.  I then joined the adult leagues.

What are your thoughts on the importance of physical activity and sports? 

I feel physical activity and sports are very important not only for the benefits of staying active, but also all the lessons that you can learn when it comes to being a team player, how to get along with others and how to handle each situation whether you win or lose.  The social part as well as the physical part are very important.

Great thoughts from Michelle! Stay tuned for more featured LZX team members.

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National Physical Fitness & Sports Month – LZX Team Feature: Becky

May is National Physical Fitness & Sports Month, something we take pretty seriously here at Learning ZoneXpress. To help celebrate and continue the conversation about the importance of physical activity, we thought it would be fun to share thoughts, stories and pictures from LZX team members about the topic. We’ll be sharing these throughout the month of May.

First up is Becky. (Michelle’s on deck and Linnea is in the hole)

Becky is our Marketing Database Manager and has been involved in sports her entire life.

What was your favorite sport/activity as a kid and why?

Becky Joyce Softball - Hawaiian Day2

Becky and CEO, Joyce, played softball together years before working together at LZX!

Tether Ball, because I am short and height didn’t matter.

What is your favorite sport/activity as an adult and why?

Softball – a great summer activity. Volleyball – a perfect team sport. Golf – it doesn’t hurt my body.

Tell us your favorite sports/physical activity memory. 

Participating in the National Softball Tournament in Dallas, TX.

Did you play sports in High School? College? Tell us about it!

Women’s sports were just being introduced when I was in High School, so it was all new. I played basketball (guard – I was very short), gymnastics, track and flag football.

What are your thoughts on the importance of physical activity and sports? 

Teaches teamwork, helps prevent chronic diseases. Better physical and mental health improve sleep and help control obesity.

Our beloved Becky was recently recognized in our Owatonna People’s Press for nearly 40 years served on the Owatonna Softball Association Board. “There is only one Becky Vick” the article states, and here at LZX we couldn’t agree more. Read the entire article here.

Thank you Becky for your years of service to the community and to Learning Zone.

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Physical activity breaks in MN schools support Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) Program

Move Mindfully Yoga PosterStudents at Osseo, MN schools are taking 10 minute movement breaks as part of a Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) program instituted in their system.  Suspensions and required disciplinary actions have been reduced dramatically. In response to pressure to reduce suspensions and improve learning by reducing disruptive behavior in class, school districts are trying alternative measures with great success. Review entire article in the Star Tribune.

Schools across Minnesota and the entire country are implementing similar practices, and we love seeing the positive impact physical activity and movement can have on learning and behavior. To support these initiatives, Learning ZoneXpress is creating tools for supporting behavioral change with its Move Mindfully series.

Is your school implementing similar practices? We’d love to hear about it and feature you on our blog. Email for more details.

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Celebrate your heroes during Teacher Appreciation Week with Free Downloads!

celebrate heroesCelebrate your heroes the week of May 2-6, 2016 during Teacher Appreciation Week and School Nutrition Employee Week. To help you celebrate, Learning ZoneXpress is offering three downloadable certificates of appreciation and recognition. These certificates are easy to print and award to deserving individuals in your school and community.

During Teacher Appreciation Week, award educators that have a positive influence at your school. Let’s express gratitude for those teachers impacting tomorrow’s leaders.

For School Nutrition Employee Week, recognize directors, managers, staff, parents – anyone that is a champion for school nutrition. Let this week serve as a reminder for all the work they do in our schools by showing them a little love.

We also have a special offer on our set of 35 Garden Heroes. Order the set of 35 heroes online* and receive a free digital copy of the Garden Heroes Activities Book. ($29.95 value)

Take a look!

Click below to download:

*Expires 5/6/16. Offer valid for online orders only. Once Garden Heroes Set of 35 is added to your cart, a free digital Garden Heroes Activities Book will be added as well.

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Grants Enhance Skateparks in Underserved Communities

50-ways-physical-activity-posterFrom our friends at GrantStation

Grants Enhance Skateparks in Underserved Communities
Tony Hawk Foundation
The Tony Hawk Foundation is dedicated to funding the construction of new, quality skateparks located in low-income communities throughout the United States. The Foundation primarily supports projects that can demonstrate a strong grassroots commitment, particularly in the form of planning and fundraising by local skateboarders and other community groups. Priority is given to projects that are designed and built from concrete by experienced skatepark contractors and include local skaters in the design process. Grants of $1,000 to $25,000 are provided to nonprofit organizations and state or local agencies, including public school systems and public projects. Requests are reviewed two times per year. Applications for the upcoming grant cycle will be accepted from May 3 to June 15, 2016. Visit the Foundation’s website to review the grant criteria and submit an online application.

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