Thursday, September 9, 2010

Fit 4 Life

... formally known as Drive 2 Fitness at our school. It's a wonderful program that our two gym teachers put together for our students. Last year, our school received a National Award for encouraging and promoting healthy lifestyles.

Our gym teachers are trying to encourage more teachers to participate this year, as we all know that kids need positive roll models and if any kids need positive roll models, it would be our school clientele.

The goal is to earn points each day for certain behaviors. A person can earn 2 points per healthy behavior; earning a maximum of 10 points per day. Point sheets are handed in the 1st of every month and the students with the top scores each month have their picture posted in the hallway. A student can work towards the year-end party, needing a certain number of points. Grades 1-3 attend a hotel water park in town for half a day and Grades 4-5 head to Grand Forks for the day to play at the water park.

Here is the five healthy behaviors:

1. 1 hour of exercise - this follows the NFL's Play 60 initiative to encourage kids to play at least 60 minutes a day.





2. 5+ fruits/veggies - our school lunches are slowly improving - so many fruits and veggies are offered with lunch every day. However, I still think they have a long way to go.. Some lunches are filled with way too many carbs.


3. eat breakfast AND try school snack - It's so important to encourage kids to eat breakfast every morning. Many of us adults skip breakfast due to the rush of the morning and getting kids ready for school - what are we promoting?! I know I didn't start eating a healthy breakfast regularly until I was out of college!

Due to a high poverty level at our school (40%+ - numbers are based on students who are on free and reduced lunches/breakfasts), we have qualified for a grant from the state of North Dakota that allows us to provide 1 morning snack to all of our students. The snacks consist of fruits and veggies, starting with something simple and hopefully moving into more exotic snacks that kids are not usually exposed to. Some of the snacks the kids have received so far consist of apples, plums, nectarines, kiwi, oranges, etc. So far, things are going really well and the kids are enjoying it.


4. Less than 1 hour of screen time - So many kids (and adults - including ME!) spend too much time in front of the tv screen and/or computer screen each day. This includes playing video games. Stats show that two thirds of toddlers and infants watch approximately 2 hours of tv every day, kids under 6 watch 2 hours of tv every day - which includes tv and video games, and kids and teens between the ages of 8 and 18 spend 4 hours a day watching tv and 2 hours a day on the computer (outside of homework) and playing video games! Wow!


Did you know that television in moderation can be a good thing? We all know that there are education videos out there. However, there are also some negatives: increases obesity, negative behaviors (ie. violence, bullying, etc.) and sense of anxiety (from watching scary and inappropriate tv/movies), and it reinforces gender-role and racial stereotypes.



5. No sugary drinks - When I asked to clarify the specifics of this, I was happy to hear that this includes Gatorade and Powerade, as well as soda. So many kids drink so much of those juices and they have so much sugar in them.


It's so fun to see these kids get excited about such a program! I look forward to playing along and hoping to share my excitement for a healthy lifestyle with my students and my co-workers!

What kind of things are you doing to promote a healthy lifetsyle at work or with your kids?

15 comments:

Christy said...

Funny you should ask! Just today I sent home a letter to the entire school trying to recruit interested students and families in forming a running club! I am a race director of a 5K in March that benefits the school and this is my attempt at 1) getting more participation of the students at the event and 2) help battle the odds that are against our "fattest city in the U.S". Education is power....and so my hope is to not only get these kids moving, but also to teach them the fundamentals of living a healthy lifestyle....using those key points you mentioned! Wish me luck!

Jamoosh said...

When I was young, my parents allowed us only one half hour of TV after school. Then we had to do home work. After dinner we were allowed to watch TV only if our home work was done AND our parents approved the content of the show they were watching was suitable for young minds.

My Life and Running said...

Love this!!

Shannon said...

That's an awesome program! I hope when I have kids, that their school will try to do the snacks and healthy lunches, too! Either that or I'll just pack them myself!

Marlene said...

I LOVE that the school is encouraging healthy habits for the kids. What a great program!

Amanda - RunToTheFinish said...

amazing amazing amazing!! i think it's sooo important for kids to start learning these things early and in a fun way

Megan said...

I wish my schools had these programs when I was growing up.

Jess said...

That sounds like a really cool program! I'm glad to see schools are trying to encourage kids to be healthy! You will make an awesome role model for the kids!

Jess said...

That's great that your school is focusing on the health of students bodies, as well as their minds. The two really do go together -- kids who eat right, sleep well, and get enough exercise are proven to learn better!

Aimee (I Tri To Be Me) said...

That sounds like a great program! My son's school is starting something like that this year too! I think it will be great!

Katie A. said...

Loved reading about this! And very cool you're joining in! Let's see if you can win the teacher award!
Happy Thursday!

Joel said...

I think it's very cool that your school is doing this! What a unique opportunity for you to model awesome lifestyle choices for your students (in addition to what you already do as a teacher).

Erika said...

This is awesome! I've been working really hard on 30 minutes or less of tv a day for the kiddos and myself. Plus eating better and getting active! I'm really glad to see that schools are getting on board also!

onelittletrigirl said...

OMG I love this idea!!! Never heard of it before but I love it! Our school is going after an award this year for promoting a healthy eating plan for kids...we are the ONLY school in NJ doing it!

Anne said...

Your school is awesome!