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One Class at a Time: North Star Elementary teacher honored for viral P.E. curriculum

Exercise videos become viral sensation

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- In our latest One Class at a Time honor, NewsChannel 21 and our partners at Mid Oregon Credit Union presented $500 to Ms. Jenny White, a physical education teacher at North Star Elementary School.

White was selected by Bend-La Pine Schools as a finalist for Teacher of the Year, she's been going above and beyond for her students, both inside and outside of the classroom.

“Incorporating SEL (social and emotional learning) in P.E has always been my main goal when teaching physical education," White told NewsChannel 21.

"I feel like (it's) more of the creativity of how to keep students, doing team building games or practicing their skills while having fun, being safe and distant," said the kindergarten through fifth grade teacher at North Star.

Through activities like tag, soccer, biking, playing with parachutes and unicycling, students were welcomed back to in-person learning.

Third-graders told NewsChannel 21 how much they enjoy learning new activities.

"I like that she does a lot of tag, and soccer too," said Soren Long.

"I like a lot of the stretches at the end, and I like the mindfulness ones..." said Ella White.

"I really like trying something new for P.E. especially unicycling, and I always wanted to try it." said Anya Cruickshank.

During the pandemic, in an effort to stay connected with her students, White started "Empowered with Ms. Jenny White," a series of exercise videos, to keep her students active from home.

Her videos soon became a viral sensation, with some getting over 65,000 views.

White says she has plans to expand her curriculum with the donation from NewsChannel 21 and Mid Oregon Credit Union.

 “We are going to be buying some long ropes that hang down from the ceiling, and it’ll kick-start building an adventure challenge course in the gym," White said.

"So a really exciting way to get kids out of their comfort zone and build confidence, while getting stronger and healthier.”

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Arielle Brumfield

Arielle Brumfield is a multimedia journalist for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Arielle here.

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