One local organization is on a mission to improve our next generation – inside and out – one movement at a time.
“Mission 2 Move strives to improve academic performance and the social emotional behavior of children through movement and mindfulness. We improve the PE curriculum at schools by training teachers and health professionals,” says Sarah Habib, Founder of Mission 2 Move. “We work with local organizations to directly teach kids how to move and be mindful. We do this by running after-school programs and helping to train teachers to incorporate movement and mindfulness into the school day.”
There are locations that run after-school programs at Cincinnati Public School elementary schools: Oyler, Robert’s Academy, Mount Airy, Mount Washington, Sayler Park, and the Academy of World Languages. They also help with the PE programs at Woodford Paideia and John P. Parker. “We have been in Cincinnati since May 2017, but started in San Francisco in 2016,” she says. The business has 10 health professionals that run after-school programs, as well as part-time employees that are in charge of marketing, communications and fundraising efforts.
The inspiration behind starting Mission 2 Move started in San Francisco, California. “After coaching basketball for middle school girls in San Francisco, I noticed so many girls could not do simple exercises like running up and down the court because of weight or inactivity. When I saw them eating ice cream and skittles before practice, I knew something had to be done to improve their overall health, which will only help them perform better both on the court and off,” Habib says. “I designed and implemented a program into their school that fuses mindfulness and Z-Health, a brain-based physical education program. Last year, I decided to move home to Cincinnati and bring the program with me, all while helping to tackle the city’s growing crisis around childhood obesity. Here in Cincinnati, 1 in 3 under the age of 18 are obese, compared to the national average of 1 in 5.”
Mission 2 Move offers a variety of Professional Development services to schools and teachers, as well as after-school programs. “No other non-profit in Cincinnati is focusing on academic performance, social/emotional behavior and childhood obesity through movement and mindfulness.” The organization defines success by showing children the joy and excitement of movement in their every day lives. “If we can inspire active lives, improve academic performance and help with emotional and social health in at least one student, that is success.”
Habib’s favorite part of working for Mission 2 Move is sharing her love of fitness. “Sharing my love of fitness with kids who have never been exposed to it before, brings a real sense of accomplishment,” she says. “Fitness is the key to living a long and healthy life so the more kids we have moving, the better for their own lives and their future.”