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More Fuel for More Moving!

Sabrina Harden,   Southside Elementary School
Access to Healthy Foods, Physical Activity Participation,  Success with Funds
More Fuel for More Moving!

Southside Elementary has implemented a punch card Breakfast Everyday Program. Our school is 100% free breakfast, but less than a 1/3 of our kids were taking advantage of the free breakfast. Our breakfast numbers were below 200 students daily and occasionally higher. Kids were going to class hungry and teachers were feeding them. Since the implementation of the punch card program numbers have sky rocketed, never being below 200 and being as high as 400, which accounts for approximately 2/3 of our students. This means that students are starting their days off with some healthy brain food and a good helping of dairy for their bodies. Students fill up a punch card, which shows they have eaten 10 balanced breakfast meals and they receive a prize. Filled cards then go into a monthly drawing for even bigger prizes. The kids are excited about the prizes and even more excited to show the adults in the cafeteria how full they’re getting their cards. To encourage continuous participation, reminders are made on the morning announcements, as well as on the Facebook pages through PE an the school. The second part of our program is Recess for Everyone! With the purchase of many new balls and an array of different types of equipment that are now available to teachers to check out at their recess time, the quality of recess has increased. Prior to implementing the checkout program students typically all played on the same small playground or a few of them may have tossed around a football while others just sat at picnic tables or under the trees. During the month of March, teachers checked out equipment such as Frisbee disc, the parachute, footballs, volleyballs with the net, soccer balls, kick balls, a cage ball, hockey sticks and balls, jump ropes and hula hoops a total of 48 times. During recess kids are actually playing and teachers have done a great job encouraging everyone to be active and not sit around. As an incentive to classes to check out equipment there is a drawing at the end of the month. Each time a class checks out recess equipment their name goes into a drawing that happens at the end of the month for a class party prize. This incentive really boosted the numbers this month. In order to get students excited about all of the new activities that they had never done before we introduced all of the equipment through the PE classes, which dramatically increased interest with the kids. Now, Southside Sharks are on the MOVE!

What improvements have you seen at your school?

The improvements have been across the board. Our breakfast numbers have increased to include at least 2/3 of our students rather than less than 1/3. More students eating breakfast means more classroom focus and success. Our students are also moving their bodies more throughout the day with the availability of equipment for them to use during recess. Teachers are excited and so are the students.

How do you plan to make this Play last during the school year and beyond?

To encourage interest students not only receive a prize when their cards are full, but their full cards will go into an end of the month drawing for larger prizes. Teachers' names are put into a drawing each time they check out equipment and a class party of somewhat is rewarded to the class whose name is drawn at the end of the month. We are going to have to look for some outside donations so that we can continue with the prizes because the funds did not purchase enough.