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Happy Healthy Hearts...at Home

By
Jill Grawe,   Shawnee Trail Elementary School
Play:
After-School Drills and Skills
Topics:
Community Involvement,  Physical Activity Participation
Happy Healthy Hearts...at Home

February is our month to do some extra focus on our hearts at Shawnee Trail Elementary. We, the PE coaches, give a Valentine to each student to take home. Each Valentine expresses our desire for them to be healthy and for their families to be healthy too. On the paper is an empty heart that each student is asked to fill in with an activity that they do, OUTSIDE of SCHOOL hours, that is active and helps promote their heart health! The student fills in the heart with the activity and the amount of time spent doing it (we encourage a minimum of 30 minutes). They also fill in their name and the names of their family members that also participate in the activity. We encourage things like family walks, break out the music and dance in the living room, help with yardwork….along with all the current activities students may be involved in. We see things like 1 hour – Soccer Practice….to things like Went Up and Down the Stairs 100 times.  Each time they return a heart…they pick up another empty heart to encourage more activity. This continues until the end of February. We post all the hearts in the hallway so that staff, students and parents can see the progress and become inspired to be a part of it! The students get very excited to tell us what activity they did…and that they will be very busy over the weekends with additional activities!!

How did students and adults work together as a team?

The students were encouraged to do activities at home with their families – as well as what they could do alone or with friends. We also encouraged the staff to participate in the program. Students loved to see their teachers' names on hearts…as well as people in the front office.

What challenges did you face and how did you overcome them?

The challenge we faced was getting the hearts rolling. What helped was the posting of the hearts! As soon as the students starting seeing their hearts on the wall....the hearts kept rolling in and our blank hearts kept rolling out!! It was very exciting to watch. We also started a competition between grade levels. We encouraged the students to write their grade on the heart as well...the grade level with the highest participation earned an extra recess!!

What improvements have you seen at your school?

Our students are excited and focused on carrying their knowledge of fitness, health and movement home to their families. I have head comments from parents about how their student was pushing them to take a family walk together...or that their student was critiquing their push-up form. Along with this program, we are doing Jump Rope for Heart and the 21-Day Healthy Snack Challenge...which go perfectly hand in hand with the Happy Healthy Hearts program!