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Whenever kids are physically active, the brain grows new brain cells, which help kids learn. Endorphins are also released, “which give the body a calming feeling,” he said.
At Meadowview, test scores have gone up, along with positive behaviors, he said.
Edwards said McCarthy is “very motivating” and that his programs have empowered students.
McCarthy’s enthusiasm and fame — in 2012, he was named the teacher of the year by a statewide group of physical education educators, and he also won a $25,000 grant — are also why the Timberwolves wanted to work with him, said Opitz.
“We’re so excited to be working with him because he’s such a big player in physical education in Minnesota,” Opitz said.
Though it’s unknown how many Get Fit participants will meet the program’s goal, the organization is pleased with how things are going, she said. The Timberwolves “have high ambitions for future seasons to grow the program and get more and more kids involved,” Opitz said.
Erin Adler • 952-746-3283