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Lindsay Ridner,   East Coffee Elementary School
How does East Coffee Elementary help instill healthy lifestyle choices in our students? By making it fun, of course! Fuel Up to Play 60 has been instrumental in providing resources and funding to make our endeavors successful. Just a few of the fun, healthy eating promotional activities our students have enjoyed are visiting the “Spooky Way Cafe” on Halloween morning to promote eating breakfast is the best way to start the day. The school nurse and counselor have taught school-wide lessons on the MyPlate nutritional guidelines. The lessons included a hands-on activity that required students to design their own healthy plate. We’ve had many fruit and veggie smoothie tasting days, and we’ve even held a fresh fruit and veggie decorating contest between grade levels. You can’t just tell them, you have to show them; and that’s what we’ve done! A lifelong love of physical activity begins as a child, and East Coffee Elementary has found many fun, creative ways to start good habits early. Fuel to Play 60 funding gave us an opportunity to purchase not only a classroom Wii, but also a smart tv for our school. The Wii and internet access ready tv has been used during PE, inside recess on a rainy day and during school-wide fun days. Who doesn’t like a dance party with friends? Each Spring we dedicate an entire school day to health and fitness activities for our students called “Warrior Wellness Day.” Our goal is to get students up and moving during six 40 minute rotations with fun and various activities to show them there are endless possibilities when it comes to physical activity. We’ve enjoyed activities such as sun safety relays, East Coffee’s adaption of “The Amazing Race”, beachball volleyball, obstacle courses and many, many more activities that change yearly.

What improvements have you seen at your school?

We have seen an increase in student attendance, and we also seen our students step out and try new food and physical activities. We've learned if it's fun and interactive, our students are more likely to enjoy fitness and continue with it at home.