Howard Payne University kinesiology majors spent four weeks in March and April putting their knowledge about childhood motor development to good use. More than 320 children, ages 1 to 5 and enrolled in the Brownwood and Comanche Early Head Start and Head Start programs, practiced essential motor skills under the guidance of the HPU students.

Two of the department’s graduate assistants, Chassidy Holloway of LaFayette, Alabama, and Stanley Roffe of King’s Lynn, Norfolk, England, were present throughout the four weekly sessions and provided onsite leadership and coordination.

Holloway, who will receive her Master of Education degree in sport and wellness leadership on May 6 and completed her undergraduate degree at a different university, noted the impact of the undergraduate students on the children in the program. 

“Smiles accompanied the movement tasks we challenged them with,” she said. “I wish I had been able to experience this during my undergraduate program.”

Dr. Graham Hatcher, professor of kinesiology, said early movement proficiency is foundational to a lifetime of meaningful physical activity.

“Those connections with academic performance are widely known,” he said. “When Lesa McKee and Robin Harmon, directors of Region 14 and 15 Head Start, reached out to us in January, we saw an opportunity to make a difference in so many children’s lives and we’re blessed to have been a part of this.”

To learn more about HPU’s Department of Kinesiology, visit www.hputx.edu/kinesiology.