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Let’s Go! is committed to providing registered sites training through in-person meetings, group meetings, site visits, workshops, and conferences. We also provide virtual support to schools through online training modules, phone calls and email exchange.

2021 Let’s Go! School Symposium

Physical Activity Stigma & Bias: Connection to Education, Health and a Positive School Culture

Enjoy the three presentations that were delivered at the 2021 School Symposium. Each talk provides you with information, resources and strategies to building a healthy school environment and increasing opportunities for movement.

Weight stigma is a widespread and pernicious problem experienced by youth. In the school setting, weight stigma often manifests as weight-based bullying, teasing and unfair treatment. These experiences place youth at risk for psychological distress, compromised academic outcomes, and adverse physical health including maladaptive eating behaviors, lower physical activity, and weight gain. Highlighting the connection between developing youth and their social environments, we will discuss how weight stigma impacts youth and consider strategies for education professionals to reduce weight stigma and foster inclusive weight climates at school.

About the Presenter

Dr. Leah Lessard
Postdoctoral Fellow, UConn Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity

Dr. Leah Lessard received her PhD in Developmental Psychology from the University of California, Los Angeles. Dr. Lessard’s research focuses on the social experiences that underlie stigma-based health and educational disparities during adolescence. She has routinely published studies on weight-based bullying in youth and the impact of weight stigma on adolescent health and wellbeing, with particular emphasis on the school setting. Through her integrative program of research, Dr. Lessard’s work aims to inform school-based efforts to reduce weight stigma and support healthy adolescent development.

This 60-minute interactive webinar is designed to increase awareness of and justification for classroom physical activity practices. Participants will learn about forms of classroom physical activity, tips for managing movement, and common facilitators that support implementation. School-wide promotion strategies and methods of mitigating perceived barriers will be addressed to equip teachers and school personnel to be ambassadors of classroom physical activity.

About the Presenter

Dr. Hildi Nicksic
Clinical Assistant Professor, Classroom in Motion

Hildi Nicksic has over 15 years of classroom teaching experience ranging from kindergarten through college. She is currently a professor at Texas A&M University where her research focus, which is mirrored in her teaching philosophy, examines classroom movement as a mechanism for learning and health. Dr. Nicksic has explored teachers’ perceptions about classroom physical activity, barriers to implementation, and impact on student outcomes. As the founder of Classrooms in Motion, Dr. Nicksic promotes and supports classroom physical activity implementation through targeted professional development trainings and facilitation of her website,, with information, resources, and materials designed to help teachers engage students in movement in the classroom.

The Power of Play workshop introduces the importance of play and lays the foundation for creating a safe, healthy, and respectful environment for youth. Learn the tools needed to create safe and inclusive play opportunities for all students and discuss how to navigate and overcome the various barriers to play. Participants walk away understanding how to select and initiate games that support students’ physical, social, and emotional development.

About the Presenter

Dawn Lavallee
Regional Partnership Director, Playworks

Dawn Lavallee has been working in the Youth Development field for over a decade. Currently the Regional Partnership Director for Playworks New England, she has the unique experience of serving students and educators across New England both on the ground and as a consultant to implement more safe and healthy play in their communities. After spending two years as a Recess Coach at Mather Elementary in Dorchester, she worked to integrate Social and Emotional learning more deeply into Playworks' active play model. She earned an MBA with a focus on Leadership and Organizational Transformation at Boston University and brought this knowledge to Playworks as a Pro Trainer, partnering with educators all around New England to jumpstart more opportunities for inclusive, active play in the school day. She is excited to now bring that knowledge and experience to more schools like yours in her role as Regional Partnership Director.