Waiting List for Active Seating Grows a Little Shorter

Signed, sealed and delivered (and assembled and pumped up)! Last week, we stocked another 13 classrooms in Alexandria public schools with Move2Learn’s active seating packages. We’re so excited those teachers no longer have to hang out on our waiting list!

This means another 325 students have access to cool equipment—like balance balls, wiggle cushions, accordion stools and under desk pedals—that makes it possible to move with purpose to keep their brains awake and focused, so they learn their best. To date, we’ve delivered more than 3,300 pieces to 142 classrooms, K-12!

Charles Barrett 5th grade teacher, Mr. T., explains “the rules” of Move2Learn’s active seating package to his students.

Move2Learn’s active seating packages, like our Movement Challenges, are our first steps in building deeper relationships with our teachers and students. From there, we get into other, less obvious but critical programming such as Social, Emotional and Academic Learning, or SEAL, lessons and Out of School Time programming.

What Teachers are Saying

Great way to keep them moving and engaged!

samuel tucker 1st grade teacher

The accordion stools allow my students to read while being active. Some of those students literally would not be able to sit down and read without a chair that allows them to move back and forth and side to side. – Hammond MS Librarian

Hammond MS Library

Students find them extremely comfortable and more relaxing than a traditional desk. In addition, active sitting supports healthy alignment while encouraging the body’s natural need for movement—improving circulation, energy and flow.


78% of teachers surveyed said they’ve noticed an increase in their students’ alertness, ability to concentrate, and stay on-task since implementing active seating.
78% of teachers also said active seating has positively impacted their social-emotional learning.

Move2Learn Survey Findings

Why was there a Waiting List?

Well, we only had so much money in our budget for the 2022-23 season, so we prioritized requests from middle and high schools and special education classrooms.

Next on the list were those classrooms at the elementary level that didn’t have any active seating. Thanks to the generosity of donors during our year-end fundraising campaign, we were able to accommodate these additional requests!

The Need is Ongoing

But we still have teachers waiting for active seating. They may have a sprinkling of equipment, but after seeing the benefits, they’re requesting enough for each student.

That need is ongoing for all of our programming, so, too, as a nonprofit, is our need ongoing to raise funds to make it happen.

2022: A Year in Review

Check out the infographic below for highlights.

Every year, our Year in Review report is a chance to share Move2Learn’s proudest achievements for our students. This year, we’ve made tremendous progress in our efforts to transform learning through movement. Take a look at our infographic below to learn more!

Through our newly launched before- and after-school clubs, expanded Social, Emotional and Academic Learning lessons, active seating in classrooms and stationary bikes in libraries and administrative offices, Movement Challenges and Professional Developments, our 2022 programming has benefited 10,000+ students and hundreds of educators. 

Thanks to your support, we’re able to apply solutions to drive change in Alexandria to level the learning field for children who are most in need. Using movement to wake up the brain, redirect energy, reduce stress and anxiety, increase focus and so much more, together we’re helping students reach their highest potential. Check out the highlights below!

Another record for M2L’s Movement Challenge

The results are in, and the December 2022 Move2Learn Movement Challenge saw a record number of Alexandria city public school teachers participating—137, with 31 new to the program—and 3,837 students getting active. Teachers and students from every grade, K-12, took part!

This go-round, we couldn’t be more excited than to “have to” add a new award for schools that hit it out of the ball field—the GRAND PRIZE/PLATINUM LEVEL PARTICIPATION. And that honor goes to Naomi L. Brooks Elementary School, with a whopping 87% of teachers participating. Congratulations!

We also have a super special shout out to Mount Vernon Community School, with 100% new teacher participation. Amazing!

The next top three schools with the highest total number of participating teachers are:

GOLD: James K. Polk ES, 41%

SILVER: Douglas MacArthur ES, 31%

BRONZE: Charles Barret ES, 29%


Additional Results

  • Coming in at 5th and 6th: Samuel Tucker and John Adams elementary schools, with 28% and 25% respectively.
  • William Ramsay and George Mason tied for 7th with 21% each
  • Jefferson-Houston PreK-8 IB came in 8th with 14%
  • In 9th is Mount Vernon ES with 13%
  • Other participating schools: Alexandria City High; Cora Kelly School for Math, Science and Technology; Francis Hammond and George Washington middle schools; and Lyles-Crouch Traditional Academy.

The Move2Learn Movement Challenge is a teacher’s easy gateway to adding regular movement into their curriculum. We typically hold two a year—one in the spring and one in winter—and both teachers and students love to participate. We’re excited that it’s grown beyond the elementary schools to the middle and even high schools! Congratulations to everyone!

Ms. Porterfield of Mount Vernon Community School and queen bee of brain boosts keeps her students moving to help them on task to learn their best!

Guest blog: Council for a Strong America identifies afterschool as key policy to help next generation succeed

The following is an exerpt from a guest blog posted on afterschoolalliance.org that emphasizes the critical need for afterschool programs. Read the blog in its entirety.

We recently had the opportunity to release a new report, A Blueprint for a Stronger America, which includes four key policy approaches that will set the stage for strengthening our nation. We brought that message to policymakers on Capitol Hill, with our members emphasizing the pivotal relationship between the policy approaches and the next generation’s long-term success.

One of these critical approaches is to provide effective afterschool programs that give young people an opportunity to build their academic and social skills while keeping them away from potentially dangerous scenarios.

Moreover, a meta-analysis of 68 afterschool programs across the country found that nearly 3 in 5 students who attended such programs had improved behavior in and outside of the classroom, and also performed better in math and reading, had higher GPAs, better school attendance, and were more likely to earn credits toward graduation.

Barry ford, president & ceo of council for a stronger america

Research tells us that juvenile crime peaks in the hours immediately after school, weekdays from 2 to 6 p.m. That’s why high-quality afterschool programs are so crucial in helping students steer clear of crime and develop their academic and social skills: these programs focus on the “prime time for juvenile crime,” diverting young people away from unsupervised situations and toward productive, educational activities.

[W]e know from research that afterschool programs can lead to healthier habits, including decreases in substance use, and increased opportunities for physical activity. Moreover, a meta-analysis of 68 afterschool programs across the country found that nearly 3 in 5 students who attended such programs had improved behavior in and outside of the classroom, and also performed better in math and reading, had higher GPAs, better school attendance, and were more likely to earn credits toward graduation.

Afterschool in Virginia

As M2L continues to expand its Out of School Time programming throughout Alexandria City Public Schools, we keep our eyes out for trends. We came across this interesting fact sheet, Afterschool in Virginia that we want to share. It’s from The Afterschool Alliance that works to ensure all children and youth have access to quality afterschool programs. Learn more.

The bonus of joining school clubs (besides just the fun!)

M2L’s before-, during- and after-school programming is in full swing these days throughout Alexandria City Public Schools. The fun is FREE and takes place at the schools, removing barriers of cost and transportation to allow any student to participate. 

We saw a need for this kind of activity and went for it. The benefits are huge. Students get active, they try something new, they develop a connection with peers and staff and they discover the mind-body connection. This all follows them back to the classroom so they do their best.

Kids of all ages love being part of a team, wearing their jerseys and t-shirts and meeting another whole side of their teachers and counselors outside of the classroom! To help them learn, grow and reach their highest potential. From lacrosse to boxing, running/walking to dancing, take a look below at the variety of club and activity offerings!

Meet the awesome Lacrosse Club of Ramsay Elementary School! Principal Mike Routhouska (far right back) and School Counselor Wanda Weaver (far left back) share coaching duties. Mr. Routhouska is passionate about diversifying the sport and is excited to bring his favorite game to his school. As with all of the clubs, M2L pays the teachers for their time. For LAX⁠, ⁠M2L also purchased the portable net, sticks, lacrosse balls and jerseys.


The Boxing Club at Hammond Middle School is a huge hit! Kidist Square, a school counselor, coaches 20+ energetic kids who are really proud to be part of this group. To warm up, students count out loud doing their push-ups, sit ups, jumping jacks and jumping rope. Then they glove up and practice their punches on the free-standing bags.

M2L purchased the four punching bags, sand to fill them with, gloves and mats. With a waiting list for the club, Coach Square is already planning for the next session. We just LOVE that the kids LOVE what they’re doing and are so into the sport! Nice work, Coach!


The GWMS Prexie Dancers absolutely love their new hoodies and t-shirts! Most of these kids are in the special education program at the middle school and dance under the instruction of Special Education Teacher Michelle Cole and Librarian Tonya Taylor. The kids do a lot of line dancing (dance with repetitive moves) and absolutely adore Kidz Bop music! Because some of the kids require more assistance, M2L provides an extra instructor to make sure everyone has a ton of fun!


Pictured here are just a few of the 30 students who participate in the GWMS 7th grade Mentoring Club! They meet with their mentors, mostly ACPS leadership, once a week to walk and talk. M2L provided a treadmill and under desk pedals for use on bad weather days. To complete the look, we also provided shoes, socks and awesome t-shirts!🌞
Seeing the enthusiasm, energy and learning from ACPS students and staff participating in these clubs has been incredibly rewarding! The demand for them really reflects their popularity, and with the support of ACPS and our generous donors, we’re 100% committed to growing this programming.

Spotlight on M2L/ACPS partnership

We couldn’t ask for a better partner than Alexandria City Public Schools to help bring movement in and out of the classroom to spark learning! We were honored when they talked about our programming in the schools — from active seating in the classroom to before-, during- and after-school activities and clubs — in the ACPS Express “October Partner & Volunteer Highlight” series. Take a read!

Mind Over Movement at Tucker Elementary

Inside Alexandria City Public School Samuel Tucker Elementary is a very special room. In it are cozy areas for building social skills and awareness, tactile learning and even tinkering in the tinker zone. Students can curl up and calm down if they need to in the “Safe Space” tent.

In addition to these stations, the room includes a stationary bike, mini trampoline and balance balls. This is where kids go to get in brain boosting movement that fires the neurons that grow new brain cells. Yes, NEUROGENESIS!

Movement + social and emotional learning

Social and emotional learning are core to the purpose of the room. Heather Dugan Kolovos, an inclusive kindergarten teacher at Tucker, created the space where students can reset and refresh.

“These days, our kiddos can be a bit off the charts behaviorally and socially,” Ms. Kolovos said. “My kindergarteners were three and four years old during the isolation of the pandemic. So, coming from that situation to full-time school can be overwhelming. 

“That’s what this room is all about – to help them identify their feelings, work off extra steam and energy and prepare for academics.”

As she was building out her calming room with the various work stations, Ms. Kolovos reached out to M2L for some active seating ideas. M2L’s Program Director Jen Wiser picked out a small stationary bike, which was the perfect addition to the already spectacular room. 

According to Ms. Kolovos, the bike is the cornerstone of the room. “My students love to hop on the bike for a few minutes. When they’re done, they’re calm and ready.” 

Working throughout ACPS

M2L works within all of Alexandria’s public schools to implement M2L programming, including active seating, SEAL lessons and before-, during- and after-school time activities.

“I met Ms. Kolovos and her students last year when I taught two Social, Emotional and Academic Learning lessons to her class,” Ms. Wiser said. “She truly believes in the power of movement and the benefit it can have on her students’ social-emotional health and learning.

“Giving all students – regardless of their age or grade – the opportunity to move when their emotions get in the way of them doing their best at school is essential. So they can pedal, bounce or jump to reset and get back to work.”

Whole-body movements make learning letter sounds easier!

The C in c-a-t sounds different than the C in o-c-e-a-n than the C in s-i-l-e-n-c-e and so on! That can be confusing for anyone, but for a new comer to the English alphabet — from a child just learning the ABCs to someone learning English as another language — it can be a real stumper.

At Move2Learn, we know how critical movement is to getting the brain going to learn it’s best. New research backs that up, showing how integrating whole-body movements into learning the alphabet improves students’ recollection of letter-sound pairings and hard-to-learn sounds. Take a listen to Edutopia’s recent blog to learn more.

RunningBrooke is now Move2Learn

It’s official: RunningBrooke is now Move2Learn! Why the change? Because the name Move2Learn captures the essence of our work. How?

‣We use movement to transform learning so all students can reach their highest potential;

‣We provide students and educators simple yet revolutionary tools that inspire movement to prime the brain for learning; and

‣We teach the importance of the body-mind connection and the role of movement in social, emotional and academic well-being.

It’s all about Move2Learn!

Move2Learn President and CEO Brooke Sydnor Curran tells the story behind the change.

Additionally, the change is about creating a new era for our organization, a new way of delivering services and a new way of supporting and providing resources to students, especially those traditionally overlooked, to level the learning field. How will we do that?

‣Identify unmet needs for new programming; 

‣Identify more opportunities to apply the Move2Learn mission; and

‣Identify new partnerships to raise awareness about the importance of movement in learning.

Moreover, our new name conveys our important work simply and clearly. We’re the only organization in the region that offers robust programming and equipment to keep students moving. Our expertise in the field makes us a first stop and trusted resource for educators.

And all of this programming comes at no cost to students and teachers – we remove that barrier, thanks to the investment of our supporters.

These developments – including expanded outreach to middle and high schools, out of school programming and SEAL lessons – contribute to Move2Learn’s continued legacy of serving the community. We’re proud to be stewarding this work into the future.