Ed Day, Rockland County Executive

June 28, 2019
Contact: John Lyon, Director of Strategic Communications (845) 638-5645
Patricia Schnabel Ruppert, D.O., M.P.H., CPE, DABFM, FAAFP (845) 364-2512

Active Learning Specialist Summer Institute

NEW CITY, NY - - Rockland County Executive Ed Day and County Health Commissioner Dr. Patricia Schnabel Ruppert announce the Active Learning Specialist Summer Institute, a professional development opportunity for Rockland area educators that includes online learning and in-person presentations and discussion. Active Learning is an evidence-based teaching approach that incorporates physical activity into the learning process to improve academic and health outcomes. The Active Learning Specialist Summer Institute, created by Fizika Group, LLC, will be held July 9, 10 and 11 from 9 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. at the Rockland BOCES Conference Center, 65 Parrot Road, West Nyack NY. Participants can earn one graduate credit or continuing education credit through Harrisburg University of Science and Technology. Discounts are available for professional association members and 3 or more participants from the same school or organization. To register, go to

"Children and teens need at least 60 minutes of physical activity per day, and preferably more, to maintain their health. Physical activity improves bone strength, blood sugar, weight management, mental health and learning," said Dr. Ruppert, the County's Commissioner of Health. The Active Learning Specialist Summer Institute is designed to help educators, administrators, coaches, school nurses, parents, and youth-serving professionals who want to make a difference in student learning and behavioral outcomes. The course presents the latest research in educational neuroscience, cognitive psychology, strategies for introducing physical activity, and leadership development to enable participants to create and sustain active learning environments. Those who earn the Active Learning Specialist designation are equipped with the knowledge and leadership skills to improve their teaching practice, and to train others.

Jennifer Mena, Active Learning Specialist at Kakiat Elementary in East Ramapo Central School District, took the course in 2016 and will serve as an instructor in the 3-day Institute. "This course taught me the leadership skills to transform the learning process in my classroom, and manage the school's wellness team," said Mena. "Active Learning Specialists are taught the leadership and advocacy skills to work collaboratively with their principals and supervisors to change the school learning environment so that students are more physically active in school and become physically literate adults."

"Fizika's unique approach to active learning -- based on the pillars of research, literacy and best practice -- is designed to provide educators with a comprehensive set of tools to identify and prioritize active learning strategies that address the specific needs of their students," said Martha Lester Harris, Fizika Founder and Instructor in the Active Learning Specialist Summer Institute.

The Summer Institute is sponsored by Rockland County Department of Health through the Creating Healthy Schools and Communities grant, Rockland BOCES, the East Ramapo Teachers' Center, and Fizika Group. For more information, contact the Rockland County Department of Health's School Health Coordinator, Carrie Steindorff, at 845-364-2360 or