Fitness Friday!

April 29, 2010 at 2:21 pm | Posted in Physical Activity - After School, Physical Activity - Before School, Physical Activity - During School, Physical Activity - One Time Challenge Course | Leave a comment
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How Buckeye Valley East Elementary incorporates physical activity before school.

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Lisa Seely, Buckeye Valley’s PE teacher has come up with a fabulous idea… Fitness Friday!  It is held once a month on Friday mornings before school.  Lisa came up with an idea to set up 17 different physical activity stations in the gymnasium for the kids to enjoy before school.  The kids have such a blast and as it turned out so do some parents!  She has had regular attendance from 1 dad who is off work on Fridays.  He has attended every Fitness Friday and does all the stations with his son and his friends.  Other parents have also joined in on the fun with their kids.

Her stations include:

  1. Hula hoop
  2. Jump rope
  3. 1 pound weights
  4. Plank
  5. Jump over the pole
  6. Medicine ball twist
  7. Scooter around the cone
  8. Climbing wall
  9. Partner push up (high five partner)

10.  10 mountain climbers & crab walk around cone

11.  Bicep curl with resistance bands

12.  Leg squats

13.  Bicycle sit up

14.  Lunge the width, jog the length of the gym

15.  Jog the steps, walk down

16.  Bear crawl around cones

17.  Agility ladder drills

To implement the activity Lisa set up her iPod through a radio and about every minute she blows a whistle & the kids move to the next station. As a prize for the kids, they get a foot charm they put on their shoelaces!

These are just a few examples; you could set up any activity you think the kids would enjoy.

Buckeye Valley East Elementary received a Zone 8 mini-grant which helped purchase some of the equipment for the stations. Other ideas for implementing a Fitness Friday without a mini-grant include asking for a $1 donation per class, ask the PTO/PTA to help purchase equipment, or borrow PE equipment.


Dairy Challenge Includes Family and Focus on Literacy!

June 12, 2009 at 7:01 pm | Posted in Nutrition focus: Dairy Challenges | Leave a comment
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  1. A great example of a Game On! challenge that reached students, staff and families was implemented at Raymond Elementary in Marysville, Ohio.  Raymond Elementary is in Marysville Exempted Village School District, and has around 250 students in grades K-4.  Nurse Teri Heard lists three main components of the challenge:

1.  Milk tasting during Lunch – students were offered free samples of 3 flavors of milk and  voted on which flavor they like best.  The  results were posted around school, using “Think Your Drink” materials from American Dairy Association.   Number one choice: CHOCOLATE!

2.  Nurse Teri Heard visited all 10 classrooms, read the 2008 OhiRaymondterireadingclaribelo Farm Bureau’s Award for Children’s Literature book, “Clarabelle” , and shared interesting facts about Ohio agriculture, and dairy farming.  Since Ohio is the number one producer of swiss cheese, she ended her story time with what else – a snack of swiss cheese!

3.  Family YMCA Fun Night – Over 130 students and family members turned out February 6th to join in Raymond’s first Family YMCA Fun Night.  Participants rotated through various stations that highlighted moving more and making better food choices. Favorites included swimming in the pool and the Dairy Challenge Kick-Off station, where families posed for their Milk Mustache photos and students were able to build yogurt parfaits.  Families also joined efforts in the Boot Camp station and parents heard Pediatrician Dr. Justin Krueger present on ‘Raising a Fit Kid in an Un-Fit World’ while students enjoyed a Health and Fitness Game with the Honda Wellness Center.


Many community resources were on hand to support this event, including the Union Co. YMCA staff, the Honda Wellness Center, the Union Co. Health Department, Memorial Hospital, Marysville Pediatrics, Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Action for Healthy Kids, the American Dairy Association Mid-East, and the Ohio Department of Education. The family event was made possible by Raymond’s involvement in the Operation Fit Kids program with Honda’s Wellness Center and the Union Co. YMCA. Event costs, which included  food for the yogurt parfait station was supplied by the Union Co. YMCA and the Honda Wellness Center. 

And then to review the main, or “core” messages of the Game On! Dairy Challenge, nurse Teri Heard sent out a 1 page, 2 sided flyer to all parents – to make sure those who couldn’t attend the family night received some of the same information.  Wonderful way to sum it all up!  Click here for a pdf of the document originally designed in Microsoft Publisher:  RaymondElemDairyChallenge

The only expenses incurred were $10 for the swiss cheese she gave out after reading “Claribel” to each classroom, and $90 for the milk tasting, which was paid for from a Game On! pilot grant from Ohio Action for Healthy Kids.

Great job Teri and Raymond Elementary!  Thanks also to Marysville EVS District for their exemplary wellness policy, which states the directive for nutrition education within the health curriculum.  This confirms the district’s commitment, helps everyone get on the same page, and encourages community partnerships for the long term.  No wonder Raymond has been awarded the status of a Gold level Buckeye Best Healthy School!  For more info on what it takes to become a Buckeye Best Healthy School, go to

Fruit and Vegetable Classroom Challenge

May 2, 2009 at 5:00 am | Posted in Nutrition Focus: Fruit and Vegetable Challenges | Leave a comment
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At Norwich Elementary in Hilliard, Ohio teachers were given the option to have their classroom participate in a  3-day fruit and vegetable tracking challenge (to see the form we used, click here: clrmftvgchallengeformnorwich)    Each teacher that responded received a large laminated fruit and vegetable tracking poster, ordered in advance – free from the USDA   Each class discussed the recommended servings per day (5 a day) and set a goal for how many they thought they could eat as a classroom for 3 days.  Some classes used this as a math exercise.  Classroom activities and posters that relate to fruits and vegetables were placed in the staff lounge for teachers to use if they have classroom time. 

Parents and the wellness committeVeggie tasting with parents volunteers helpinge organized a fruit and vegetable tasting during the last day of the challenge during lunch, and information was sent home to parents to let them know about the sampling and the classroom challenge.  Since this was the last monthly “Take A Taste Thursday”, the event was billed as “Come try a Mystery Fruit!”   They were told it was originally from China and is used in making pies.    Students wrote their guesses of what it was on a big poster next to the table.  The
MMM!  Student samples a kumquat - front teeth not required!

MMM! Student samples a kumquat - front teeth not required!

principal announced the name of the fruit at the end of the day, and the poster of guesses along with the name of the fruit was written and spelled out for all to see: KUMQUATS!   This “mystery” fruit idea led to alot of discussion and excitement.

Classrooms that met their goal (all 18 classrooms that participated met their goal) were awarded a $20 gift card from Walmart to spend as they wish, thanks to a grant from Ohio Action for Healthy Kids.   Some bought strawberries for their snacks, some purchased supplies for smoothies.   Some classrooms bought extra art supplies like fruit smelling markers, and some saved it to add to their end of the year class party snacks.  Many parents were so thrilled with this challenge that they donated a fruit or vegetable snack for the whole classroom to help them meet their classroom goal.

Teachers reported some great questions being asked by parents and students, such as “what is  a serving?”, “do vegetables have to be cooked to count?”,  “do fruit snacks count?”, etc.   Teachers were also surveyed and asked for ideas on how to improve this activity.  All teachers who responded said they would be interested in doing a similar classroom activity to track dairy servings, and that tracking servings for 3 days was the optimal length of time.   Teacher’s ideas for incentives (if gift cards are not possible)  that were mentioned were extra recess time, classroom dance party,  or story time with a local “celebrity” or “athlete”.

Sign made by 4-5th grade students to encourage younger students to take a taste!

Sign made by 4-5th grade students to encourage younger students to take a taste during free sampling!

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