University of Vermont

The College of Arts and Sciences

Department of Psychological Science

Students Implement Professor’s Research-Based “Fit Kids” Program

     It’s a weekday morning, and senior Reuben Brough is running around a gym at King Street Youth Center waving his hands in the air and screeching like a cheetah. A stream of children is in hot pursuit of him and four other UVM students who implore the preschoolers to “catch the cheetah.”

     It looks like total chaos as Brough, now a shark, yells “fishies, fishes cross my ocean,” daring the children to run past him at half court. But there’s a method to the madness, which is really a highly structured, research-based fitness program designed by Betsy Hoza, Bishop Joyce Chair of Human Development and professor of psychological science, called Children and Teachers (CATs) on the Move.

     “We have an agenda, responsibilities, and plenty of unexpected daily obstacles with the children that we have to attend to and be ready for,” says Brough, an exercise science major who manages to run, jump and dance along with the children for 30 minutes. “Overall, it’s a very fulfilling experience, and the kids learn and practice important executive functioning, motor and communication skills.”

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