August 8, 2018

Health and Wellness Through the Life Span—Elementary School: Fun, Games and Fitness

by Charity Shumway

It was December 2017, and Dan Jeffries ’18 was dressed up as a one-eyed yellow cartoon Minion straight out of Despicable Me. Was this some sort of fraternity prank? No. Just the exciting culmination of his Physical Education Elementary Methods class.

This year, as they have every year for over 25 years, more than 100 students from the Barack Obama Elementary School in Hempstead, New York, took a field trip to Adelphi’s Center for Recreation and Sports gym. Jeffries and his fellow costumed classmates had designed active games around a Pixar theme, and for almost three hours that morning the kids danced, ran, shouted and played.

Approximately one in six children in the United States is obese, and the problem disproportionately affects those from lower-income families. That makes the long-standing partnership between Adelphi’s Department of Exercise Science, Health Studies, Physical Education and Sport Management and the Hempstead public schools, in which 70 percent of children come from families on some form of public assistance, all the more beneficial for everyone involved.

While it was fun and games for the kids, for Jeffries and the other future teachers, it was a chance to practice what they’d been learning. “It was definitely a great classroom management experience,” he said. “The kids were constantly rotating. They’re excited from the last game, and you have to reel them in.”

Jeffries, 30, didn’t always plan to become a physical education teacher. He started off pursuing criminal justice but found it wasn’t the right fit. His experience as an Adelphi physical education major changed that. Now Jeffries can see his future clearly: helping kids learn how to be active and, just as important, he said, why to be active.

This story is part of “Health and Wellness Through the Life Span,” from the 2018 issue of Adelphi University Magazine. Read the rest of the story here:

Before Birth: The Best Possible Start

Babies and Toddlers: Forming Secure Early Relationships

Early Childhood: A Low-Tech Approach

Teens: The Right Way to Discuss Suicide

Middle Adulthood: Becoming a Caregiver

Late Adulthood: Getting the Right Nursing Care

Finding the Words to Reckon With Loss

All Ages: Healing Body, Mind and Soul

Improving Health in Costa Rica and Guatemala

More Adelphi News

About Adelphi: A modern metropolitan university with a personalized approach to higher learning

Adelphi University, New York, is a highly awarded, nationally ranked, powerfully connected doctoral research university dedicated to transforming students’ lives through small classes with world-class faculty, hands-on learning and innovative ways to support academic and career success. Adelphi offers exceptional liberal arts and sciences programs and professional training, with particular strength in our Core Four—Arts and Humanities, STEM and Social Sciences, the Business and Education Professions, and Health and Wellness.

Recognized as a Best College by U.S. News & World Report, Adelphi is Long Island’s oldest private coeducational university. It serves almost 8,000 students at its beautiful main campus in Garden City, New York—just 23 miles from New York City’s cultural and internship opportunities—and at dynamic learning hubs in Manhattan, the Hudson Valley and Suffolk County, as well as online. 

More than 116,000 Adelphi graduates have gained the skills to thrive professionally as active, engaged citizens, making their mark on the University, their communities and the world.

For further information, please contact:

Taylor Damian
Associate Director for Media Relations 
p – 516.877.4040
e –