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WATCH: Chinese Gym Teachers & Oregon Students Move and Learn Together

This article is one in a series at The 74 that profiles the heroes, victories, success stories, and random acts of kindness to be found at schools all across America. Read more of our recent inspiring profiles at The74million.org/series/inspiring.

It isn’t uncommon for students at Raleigh Park Elementary School in Oregon to take a break from their studies and do a few burpee exercises next to their desks. Or maybe a handful of push-ups.

The Beaverton School District calls these activity-focused breaks “brain boosts” — anything from dance moves to finger exercises to get the brain warmed up and ready to learn. And a group of 28 gym teachers from China, hosted by Beaverton-based Nike, recently stopped by to see how it’s done, and to share some innovative phys ed techniques of their own.

“Nike really believes that kids were not made to sit still — they were made to play,” Caitlin Morris, general manager of community impact at Nike, told KATU. “And we support innovation in getting kids moving in schools.”

The Chinese teachers, participants in Nike’s Active Schools Innovation Exchange, taught a PE lesson — complete with red fans — in Raleigh Park’s gym and dropped in on classes to do “brain boosts” along with the children.

“They’re so friendly,” Chinese teacher Lyu Shaowu said of the Raleigh Park students. “They’re always happy, and they’re confident, naturally.”

Whether in Oregon or in China, teachers and students share a common goal: keep kids moving — and learning.

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