Brain Gains: Better Grades Through Fitness
Series: The National
The National visits an inner city high school in Saskatoon, SK, where teacher Allison Cameron tests the theory that vigorous daily exercise improves academic performance. City Park Collegiate is considered a high school of last resort for kids who haven't been able to make it anywhere else. The Grade 8 and 9 students contend with a wide range of behavioural problems: almost half are diagnosed with ADHD and many work at a Grade 4 level. When Allison came across groundbreaking research by Harvard psychiatrist John Ratey (author of Spark), showing a link between sustained aerobic activity and the brain's ability to learn, she took the data to her principal to make the case for a new approach. For Allison and her students, the program was a runaway success and test results prove it.