Middle school students participating in the CREW student groups at Capital City Public Charter School in Washington, D.C. were determined to focus on healthy eating and an active lifestyle during the 2013-2014 school year. Thanks to $2,500 from the School Grant for Healthy Kids program, supported by CSX Transportation, the CREW student group has been able to expand and improve upon physical activity lessons in their school.
The school was able to purchase ball bags for each CREW class allowing the students to incorporate physical fitness activities into their daily activities. It reinforced the message that being active doesn't have to be reserved for fitness classes and can be incorporated into other parts of their lives.
"Access to ball bags has added a new dimension to our CREW. It has opened up possibilities for how we are able to build community and has allowed me to capitalize on student strengths," said Katie Ball, middle school instruction coach. "Leaning in to their developmental need for movement, competition and physical challenge, I've been able to leverage the ball bags and facilitate their understanding of the connection between physical, emotional, and mental growth."
One CREW class played Arm Hockey to discover self-discipline, compassion and collaboration within the group. The students were divided into two teams, and using only one hand, had to work collaboratively to score a goal by getting a ball through the legs of an opponent!
The ball bags purchased guided eight graders as they designed fitness activities for Every Kid Healthy Week. The 8th grade class' year-long Expedition focused on food and healthy living, and physical fitness has been incorporated into all of their courses. As their final product for the expedition, students lead events during Every Kid Healthy Week. The events included wellness stations, fitness activities and PSAs.
With the remaining funding, Capital City will buy sweat suits for after-school sports winter programs - swimming and basketball.
"Our swim team, for instance, practices at a nearby pool and walks to the pool from school. During cold months, students are less likely to come to practice because they lack the proper attire," says Pamela Daley, development and communications associate and 2012-2013 swim coach. "Being able to purchase sweat suits will help us ensure all our students can participate regardless of their financial situation."
Originally published on the Action for Healthy Kids website.
Written by Kristina Shelton, Action for Healthy Kids state coordinator, Washington, D.C.