The main goal of our school’s Physical Education program is to educate our students about wellness and encourage them to practice healthy lifestyles. This year, our Shaw Elementary School partnered with a community wellness program, Kids Get Fit. The goal of this program is “to combat and prevent childhood obesity and diabetes.” This program was offered to our students for free during their Physical Education classes. Three days a week for eight weeks, staff members from Kids Get Fit visited our campus. On Tuesdays, our students participated in Fitness and Zumba. On Wednesdays, we focused on nutrition, and on Thursdays, we did Yoga. This partnership was a great way for community members to take an active part in helping our students realize that wellness is a life-long journey. They were able to meet, play with, and learn from healthy adult role models. More information about the Kids Get Fit Program can be found on their website www.kidsgetfit.net.
How did you accomplish your goals?
In May of 2017, our school piloted the Kids Get Fit Program. This year we really wanted to step it up in the areas of fitness and wellness. Kids Get Fit was so successful that this year, we renewed our partnership, and they returned for a full 8-week course. Because of our positive experiences with the program, they decided to expand their offerings to all of the other campuses within our school district.
What challenges did you face and how did you overcome them?
After hearing about how much fun the students were having during the Kids Get Fit program, parents and teachers also wanted to be involved. I approached the organizers of Kids Get Fit to see if they could offer an adult program after school. Because of the great relationship we had established with the program, they agreed. They began offering Zumba to our teachers and parents after school. The adults enjoyed the activities just as much as the students.
What improvements have you seen at your school?
Students have shown improvement especially in the area of nutrition. After having classes with Kids Get Fit, students are paying attention to the ingredients in their foods and the nutrition labels. During lunch, students are reading labels in the cafeteria, and they are also bringing home this information to their parents. Parents have mentioned that their children are requesting they eat healthier and become more active at home.