girl stretching

Improving Academic Performance through Stress Management Exercises

This program for elementary students with disabilities incorporated stress management exercises to reduce students’ anxieties and to increase their academic focus. Students were guided through mini-exercise breaks to reduce maladaptive behaviors and increase the amount of time on-task, which will increase student academic performance.


Students reduced maladaptive behaviors while increasing coping behaviors by 75%. Students increased their time on task by 30 minutes. All students increased their reading level by 1 year (in ¾ year) and 55% increased their reading level by greater than 1.5 years. 75% of parents reported that their child had reduced anxiety post-implementation. The program has expanded to other classrooms at the school. Certified teachers are training other teachers in the stress-reducing exercises.

This project is funded by the CEF MCD Awards Program.
Recipient: Jennifer Swartz
School: C.E. Curtis Elementary