Recently there has been a national focus on eliminating childhood obesity throughout the country, and in Indiana, Bailly Elementary (Chesterton) has shown that focusing on small, realistic improvements can be the first step toward that goal. Out of the 1,353 schools participating in Fuel Up to Play 60, Bailly Elementary was selected as the statewide winner of the Fuel Up to Play 60 nationwide online competition. Fuel Up to Play 60 is a national program developed by the National Dairy Council, Dairy & Nutrition Council Inc., and the National Football League that centers on helping youth make their schools a healthier environment.
Bailly Elementary will be rewarded with a special Fuel Up to Play 60 prize worth $1,000 including fitness equipment for the gym, a Fuel Up to Play 60 menu board, and a Fuel Up to Play 60 banner to help showcase their progress toward having a healthier school environment. Cafeteria Manager, Lisa Ozimek, started a walking club after breakfast to help energize the students while also making their way toward 60 minutes of physical activity a day. School Nurse, Marian Danko, helped with the program as well. In March, Bailly Elementary was also rewarded with Colts Fitness Camps for the entire school.
Through their involvement with the Fuel Up to Play 60 program and by making school-wide changes, Bailly students earned points by tracking their healthy eating and physical activity behaviors every day. Thus, they were at the top of the leader board as the highest-scoring school from Indiana in the competition.
“Bailly was thrilled to be part of Fuel Up to Play 60 and give our students the opportunities to make their own decisions on how they will make themselves and the school a healthier place,” said Lisa Ozimek, Cafeteria Manager. By being recognized as the top school in our state, our students were eager to continue with their efforts and excited to join the program next school year to make even more healthy changes at our school!”
Bailly Elementary has started a program to get kids moving in the mornings before school by way of NFL Play 60 and local volunteers. It costs the school nothing and benefits the kids in many ways, including: better grades, better behavior, the building of a healthy habit that will last a lifetime, and most importantly to the kids, FUN!
The program is simple with lots of room for creativity. They trick the kids into fitness by playing games or doing simple obstacle courses consisting of running, jumping, rolling on mats, and even adding Martial Arts moves into the mix. Then they move to the game of the day, such as tag, and if you get tagged you’re out of the game until you do 15 jumping jacks.
The best part is seeing the kids going to class with big smiles on their faces after having a chance to wake up their bodies in preparation for learning. Everyone knows that you will be more receptive to learning if you’re not sleepy or groggy. The kids are so alert and full of renewed vigor without being disruptive to the class.
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