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Fit to Be Taught, Vol.16

Running the Capitals


"After reading more about our U.S. population growing larger and doing less physical activity, our faculty decided to bring back run, walk, and jog," physical education teacher George Musser told Education World. "Four years ago Gaffney Lane Elementary students 'ran' the perimeter of the continental United States. That was a 13,500-mile effort accomplished by about 550 students. This Run the Capitals project will require our 730 students and faculty to run, walk, and jog more than 16,000 miles."

Musser uses mileage cards, reward certificates, and token rewards to boost student interest in the program. They can build mileage independently, during phys ed class, and as a group with their teachers. In good weather, participants gather their miles on a 1/2-mile trail around the school playground and on a 1/8-mile perimeter of blacktop. As the weather grows colder, activity continues in the gym.

"On Fridays, we represent weekly jumps on a map; those jumps are equal to the mileage turned in during the week," said Musser. "So far we have traveled 4,622 miles and visited 15 capital cities. Our best prediction brings us down the east coast in February and back home to Oregon City, Oregon, by May."

Run the Capitals is a school-wide project that has spawned some healthy competition among grade levels.

Read the full article on Education World

Wellness News
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Starting the Day the Healthy Way

The Springfield (Ohio) Elementary School Health Team set out to improve the health and wellness of staff and students. The health teams goals were to influence the development of a healthy lifestyle for each student and give students the necessary skills and knowledge to continue to make healthy choices throughout their lives. To meet these goals, exercise opportunities were made available to everyone, free breakfast was offered to all students, and health screenings were implemented for staff and students.

All students and staff members in the K-4 school participated in exercise daily. Each morning classroom teachers lead their students in an exercise routine that includes, but is not limited to, aerobics, walking, running, exercise videos, and calisthenics. This exercise opportunity lasts about 12-15 minutes per day. Following the exercise, the students are offered a free breakfast to begin their day with a nutritional meal.

After the exercise program was initiated, there was an 8 percent decrease in students' visits to the nurse's office over two years. Student attendance also improved 1.2 percent over those two years.

Read more about this program at: Springfield Elementary Health Team.

Click to learn more about Action for Healthy Kids.

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