If you listen closely enough, you can almost hear the collective exhale of school teachers as the end of the 2020-21 school year wraps up.
As teachers prepare to use these summer months to ‘recover’ from their year, I’m preparing to use these summer months to get my in-school kids fitness business ready. Let me share with you why:
My name is Melanie and I’m the founder of PL3Y, a company that delivers fitness, movement and mental health programs to schools across the country, in support of each province’s Physical Education curriculum, through PL3Y Education programs.
Not only have I energized more than 500,000 students through movement and music, I’ve helped fitness enthusiasts in 10 regions across Canada launch their own school-based businesses and build their career teaching dance and yoga in schools.
Like many fitness professionals and in-person program providers, our in-school businesses were significantly impacted when the pandemic restrictions rolled in. During the closures and stay-at-home orders, we worked closely with our clients to deliver virtual lessons, and kept supporting teachers as best we could (knowing that eventually in-person experience would return…and they have started to return, big time.)
Pay attention: now is the time to perk up if you believe that schools are a great place to help large numbers of kids experience the physical, mental, cognitive, social and emotional benefits of exercise.
I’m based out of British Columbia, where restrictions have been lifted for a few months. Our in-school dance and yoga programs were in such high demand this Spring that our Regional Operator operated at max capacity in May and June, and already has dozens of programs booked for next year.
Similar trends are showing in other regions where schools have announced that they will be re-opening their doors in September: parent councils and principals have contacted our Regional Operators to bring in movement programs as a way to rebuild community, reconnect students, and simply a chance to do something fun!
Are you ready to use these next months to align your business offers to capitalise on the re-emergence and demand for in-school fitness, movement, and mental health programs?
Here are 3 Reasons Why Schools Will Need Fitness Pros to Support Them
1. Teachers Need Support from Qualified Kids Fitness Providers
Educators have shown us how they are some of the most hard-working and dedicated people in our communities. As they continue to navigate the changes, transitions, adjustments, and adaptations that re-entry will bring, qualified kids fitness instructors can be there to support teachers in delivering quality curriculum-based programs (especially in subjects that they may be hesitant to teach, like dance!)
2. Mental Health Is The Top Priority
School Re-Entry plans will focus on the greatest needs of students so that kids can be engaged learners. Academics will come second to ensuring that students’ emotional states and wellbeing are addressed. The Canada 2021 Budget announced that the demographic most impacted in terms of negative effects on mental health were children and youth. The Government of Canada has allocated funding to support children’s programming for sport and physical activity, which will span across the recreation and education sectors. Building a business that’s eligible and aligned with funding can be the launchpad to your fitness career success.
Fitness professionals who can meet the needs of schools (and do so in a format that integrates seamlessly with their mandated Physical Education curriculum) will be able to leverage this focus towards mental health and stand ahead of other local kids’ fitness program providers.
3. We’ve Seen It Before
In 2016 in Fort McMurray, AB when a forest fire forced 80,000 people to evacuate from their homes, an entire community was instantly disrupted. As people came back to their homes and routines over the summer, schools were tasked with helping students on a mass scale process the trauma, reconnect with one another, and do something fun together. School principals contacted our local PL3Y Regional Operator to deliver curriculum-based dance workshops, and 100% of schools in the town received the programs, through funding from government grants, school budgets, and parent council allocations.
The pandemic has shaken up our students in similar ways that the Fort McMurray fires affected the youth of the northern Alberta town and school-based programs will undoubtedly be targeted to help students deal with the effects of the pandemic.
Movement is a powerful tool in helping children and youth heal, reconnect, interact, play, learn and process the changes and circumstances of this past year. Schools are the platform, and through these times you get to build a business that serves the needs of kids, teachers and parents in your communities.
As fitness professionals, this is your opportunity if you’ve been desiring to work with kids in schools. Use these summer months to get your business systems, program offers and teams prepared to support schools and get students active in schools come the fall.
Whether you’re building a new business or growing your existing one, I also hope you take some time to enjoy this sunny season. Grab your mimosas on the deck or kombuchas on the dock and join me in a virtual cheers to the teachers we’re excited to support (may they enjoy their summer break), to the kids we get to serve (we can’t wait to see you in a school in the Fall), and to us as fitness professionals, for our unwavering commitment to our communities and clients, before, throughout and beyond this pandemic.
To learn more about PL3Y Inc. go to http://www.pl3yinc.com/canfitpro