Move One Mesa moves students and community forward

Chris Powell leads students in physical activity at Stevenson Elementary
Students at Stevenson Elementary participate in Move One Million movements

Mesa Public Schools has launched a new partnership to improve social and emotional wellness among students, staff and the community.

The goal of Move One Mesa is to ignite a culture of learning and well-being throughout the city. Health and fitness expert Chris Powell partnered with Mesa Public Schools, City of Mesa and Mesa Chamber of Commerce to debut his Move One Million nonprofit in Mesa. The goal is to use movement as a pathway to boost positive behaviors in the classroom, while looking to the future of our community.

According to Marlo Loria, director of career & technical education and innovative partnerships, the district is committed to safety and well-being practices that are evidence-based and embedded throughout the district.

"Students can't learn or reach their full potential without meeting their mental and physical needs first," Loria says. "Chris Powell has spent the past 20 years transforming people's lives. Move One Million provides a powerful tool to help the district meet our respective goals, and bring students, staff and the community together through movement."

Move One Mesa encourages employees and students to participate in a special synchronized routine together. The 2.5-minute routine also includes an adapted version for individuals with limited movement. It increases learning and improves health by reducing stress, boosting blood and oxygen flow, and creating a sense of accomplishment. The daily movement resources are provided free to the district and based on Rajio Taiso, the Japanese radio calisthenics program. Video routines feature guest hosts, including Powell and six-time Olympic gold medalist Amy VanDyken.

A video about the partnership features Superintendent Andi Fourlis, Mesa Mayor John Giles, Powell, community leaders and educators on top of Brown Mountain. The official Move One Mesa kickoff was held at Stevenson Elementary on March 29, 2021. From March 29-April 1, the initiative will focus on daily priorities that include physical health, mental health, #MesaKindness and community service.

Fourlis says Mesa Public Schools enjoys working with community partners that are important to creating comprehensive healthy schools and communities.

"The results are evident in district programming that includes nationally recognized physical education, recess activities, healthy nutrition, classroom movement breaks, and counselors who address the social and emotional needs of students," Fourlis says. "Around the community, the City of Mesa is improving parks and sidewalks, and building bike trails to support the whole child and needs of the community."

Learn more about Move One Million.


(Chris Powell leads students in Move One Million movements at Stevenson Elementary on March 29, 2021. Photos by Tim Hacker/Mesa Public Schools)


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