JAM motivates children for 1 minute of fitness


JAM stands for Just A Minute. The program is the brain child of Patti Howell, who created it five years ago to motivate children and adults to move more.

"One minute leads to two or three of five and hopefully over time it is going to inspire and motivate people to want to do more," Howell said.

Cleminson Elementary School fifth-grade teacher Kate Campbell has been using the program for five years to calm wiggling kids and give their brains a boost.

"They like it because they just love to get up and move and it's fun. I do it with them, so they think it's funny," Campbell said. "We get an email everyday for new JAMmin' Minutes to use in the classroom."

Research has determined that it's essential for kids to get at least 60 minutes of exercise per day, yet squeezing into their day poses a big problem for educators, so a program like the JAMmin' Minute is a creative way to help.

Clayton, a father of four, appreciates the concept because it's the kids themselves who teach the workout, providing a fun way to empower them.

"You're not telling them what to do, they're kind of coming up with their own resources and how they want to improvise and so forth, and they make it fun and everybody joins in," Clayton said.

"Even if you have an hour of P.E. at school that doesn't mean you should sit for three hours in a class room," Howell added.

The JAM School Program, which originated in Los Angeles, now has 20,000 schools nationwide used by about 9 million students.

Teaming up with the similar Let's Move in School program, JAM's goal is to set a world record at 10 a.m. Thursday with schools and organizations all JAMmin' together for that fabulous fitness minute.

As of Wednesday, more than 1.2 million JAMmers have signed up, but they want to double that.

"Never has there ever been a time in history where kids and schools are leading the first-ever campaign that inspires everyone to get active," Howell said.

To learn more about the JAM World Record 2012 and sign up, visit www.jamworldrecord.org.

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