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Fit to Be Taught, Vol. 37

These Shoes
Were Made for Running/Walking


Stop by Jefferson Elementary in Blaine, Minnesota, on a Thursday afternoon, and you are likely to find teachers, parents, and more than half of the student body outside on the track. A runner for many years, Principal Kim Pavlovich has created a simple and inexpensive run/walk program that gives her entire school community an alternative to the couch and television.

"When I first began this program, I had visions of myself running with our fastest, most athletic students," said Pavlovich. "I realized quickly that the biggest impact has been on those students who are not the traditional athletes."

As a runner for many years, she hoped to use her experience to motivate her students. Additionally -- and somewhat selfishly, she admitted -- Pavlovich wanted to create an after-school program that allowed her to connect with students, regardless of their past encounters related to behavior.

Principals spend a disproportionate amount of time with the small percentage of children who make poor choices," Pavlovich told Education World. "I wanted to spend time with the others and have a positive experience with those who spend time in my office for negative situations."

Pavlovich's initial vision involved 20 students running around a track with her. She introduced the program to just fourth and fifth grades, and parents immediately expressed an interest in having younger siblings attend. She opened the program to the entire student body and had about 100 students in the first year.

Every time the program has been offered -- each fall and spring for 10 weeks -- it has continued to grow. Now, 480 out of the school's 710 students take part, with all grade levels equally represented.

Read the full article on Education World


Movin and Munchin to
Better Health

Movin and Munchin Schools was introduced by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction to get students participating in physical activity and more healthful eating outside of the school day. Students who might not engage in physical activity can get involved in another aspect of the program, such as giving up soda for a week.

Students record their efforts weekly in the form of movin MILES. These miles are added together each week and put together over time to reach a pre-established goal. On average 18,000 students and 8,000 adults participated over four years.

Preliminary findings indicated that students interest in physical activity increased as a result of the program for every group but one, which were those that described themselves as not physically active already.

About ten urban schools out of 70 turn in their results each year. Each school that turns in their projects can receive between $250 and $500 for their physical activity program.

Read more about this program at: Movin and Munchin Schools: The Healthy M & M's: Wisconsin's Initiative to Increase Physical Activity and Healthy Eating .

Click to learn more about Action for Healthy Kids.

Wellness News
Bill Would Bring Local Food to Cafeterias A bill before Maryland’s governor would make it easier for locally-grown foods to be sold in school cafeterias.

Quarter of Kids Go Unvaccinated More than a quarter of U.S. children are not meeting the U.S. government's recommendations for childhood vaccinations, said Centers for Disease Control and Prevention researchers.

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