Sparking Change Through Every Kid Healthy™ Week
By Elizabeth Sorice, Chicago Research Associate, AFHK
Posted May, 23 2014
Sometimes all it takes is one event to ignite community-wide excitement for health and wellness. Through a multi-year grant from Action for Healthy kids, made possible by Johnson and Johnson Services, Inc. and the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Chicago’s Dewey School of Excellence made it happen. Through the grant Dewey was able to prioritize nutrition and physical education for their students and local community.
On April 24, 2014, Dewey organized its first ever Family Fitness Night in celebration of Every Kid Healthy™ Week. The event kicked off with Physical Education teacher, Mr. Horton, getting everyone up and moving together. Students and parents were instructed to rotate between several fitness, nutrition education and healthy eating stations. There was even a hula hoop booth!
Once everyone made their rounds Mr. Horton lead them through a group cool down. He took this moment to emphasize the importance of drinking water and snacking on healthier options to refuel. To the children’s dismay chips of the flaming hot variety were not included in his recommendations. He then guided everyone through a final series of exercises and stretches to show them how it’s possible to be active in a small space without equipment. The goal was to show families simple ways to build physical activity into a daily routine.
At the end of the day participants were awarded a finishers medal, certificate of completion and a goodie bag filled with carrots, granola bars, bananas and oranges. Mr. Horton exclaimed that the Family Fitness Night was “the groundbreaking first step for not only the students and families, but for the entire community.” Because of the success of the night he announced to the group that he planned to initiate monthly Family Fitness Nights. Students and parents cheered, smiled and threw each other high fives.