Renee Grunfelder, a response to intervention teacher at Georgia Cyber Academy (GCA), created a club to get her online community moving!
The Walk With Me! Club started this past August as a way to connect students and teachers through healthy choices. Members can log on, walk for 30 minutes with a teacher, and talk about fitness and health. While Renee uses an elliptical during meetings, other members use machines like treadmill desks, steppers, or even just walk in place.
“For the past few years I have been trying to figure out a way that I could connect with the kids through health and physical fitness activity instead of academics,” Renee said. “My youngest son had been involved in a similar type of club throughout his middle school years and it helped him stay in shape, learn the benefits of healthy food choices, and connect with students socially.”
The club meets on the fourth Friday of each month and any middle school student or teacher can join in by simply clicking on a link to join the class. Renee felt that this class was needed due to the declining health of children in America.
“Statistics have shown that parents are outliving their children for the first time due to the childhood obesity problem we have in this country today,” Renee said. “I want to do what I can to make a difference on this issue.”
Renee loves the support that the club has produced within the GCA community. Members are very supportive of one another and encourage each other to make healthy decisions.
“I had a teacher come visit me and she brought her water bottle,” Renee said. “When she noticed I didn’t have mine next to my desk she asked where I kept mine. She made sure I found it and put it next to my desk. She continues to this day to follow up with me to make sure I am drinking my water!”
The Walk With Me! Club fosters a community of teachers, students, and even their parents. By including various members of the GCA community, conversations about health and well-being are encouraged both in and outside of the classroom.
“Some students come and get on their video cam to work out with me,” Renee said. “Their parents work with us at the same time. Teachers will hop on their video cam to show their workout room!”
Renee’s son and GCA student TJ Grunfelder is the DJ for the club and uses music to bring energy and excitement to each meeting.
“Teachers and students find the music uplifting and empowering,” Renee said. “When you attend the Walk With Me! Club, it’s impossible not to have a great day at Georgia Cyber Academy!”