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Fit to Be Taught, Vol.3

Building Able Bodies

At Venable Elementary School in Charlottesville, Virginia, students are encouraged to adopt the healthy habits of physical fitness and good nutrition through exciting programs that begin in physical education class. Discover how instructor Fran Zavacky is making Venable a veritable hub of physical activity. You can also read how original fitness and nutrition programs are organized at Venable.

"Our children, Peter and Anna, are aware of the importance of physical activity," said parent Amy Stewart. "When there's a school break, they inform me and my husband that they are supposed to run around for an hour a day!"

Stewart's children attend kindergarten and second grade at Venable Elementary, where fitness for all is a high priority.

"When I arrived at Venable School, I wanted to share the message that physical activity should be valued as an everyday necessity in the lives of children," recalled Zavacky, the school's physical education instructor. "Luckily, our principal believes in the importance of daily physical activity for children and already supported daily recess for all students, as did the teachers."

Read the full article on Education World

Wellness News
Schools Urged to Connect Curriculum to Nature Spurred by the national group Leave No Child Inside, more school districts are looking to connect their curriculum to outdoor activities, to encourage children to spend time away from the television and computers.

Kids Prefer Any Food in a McDonalds Wrapper Any food in a McDonald's wrapper tastes better to preschoolers, a recent study showed. The study had youngsters sample identical McDonald's foods -- including carrots and apple juice -- in name-brand and unmarked wrappers. The unmarked foods always flunked the taste test.


She Got Her Students Moving, Moving

Deanna Smith, a fourth grade teacher at Hickory Creek Elementary School in the Warren County (Tennessee) school system, who served on the School Health Team, decided to implement recommendations of the Center for Disease Controls School Health Index (SHI). Smith began a daily walking program with her students. At the beginning, several students asked to play on the computers instead of walking or complained about being too tired to finish their laps around the track.

Smith became even more determined to get her students physically active. One overweight student complained daily so Smith came up with a creative incentive: she brought her wedding picture to show her student how much weight she had gained due to lack of daily physical activity. The next day, Smith said this student almost jogged around the track and begged to be the leader every day.

All of the students began looking forward so much to their 20-minute walks (and talks) that they worked harder on classwork than ever before. By the end of the school year, Smith was amazed at how much discipline problems decreased, and how much student morale and state achievement test scores increased. (Her student's reading gains were almost twice the state standards.)

Read more about this program at:
It Just Takes One Brave Teacher.

Click to learn more about Action for Healthy Kids.

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