written by Ashley Davies, Program Support Specialist, PE4life
PE4life loves to see physical activity and education going beyond the walls of the gymnasium. Check out how a Kansas City, Kansas school and community made it happen:
In the fall of 2009, Karin Morgan and Sarah McGinty, Cardiac RN’s in the Change of Heart Program at The University of Kansas Hospital decided they wanted to bring health education and prevention of heart disease to their hospital neighbors in the Rosedale community of Kansas City, Kansas. They wanted to expose their community to the benefits of exercise in the hopes of influencing entire families and their neighborhoods. Karin and Sarah were informed of the Rosedale Healthy Kids Initiative, an advocacy organization aimed at reducing childhood obesity in the Rosedale community by promoting active lifestyles and healthy food choices. The organization directed the ladies to contact Mary Welsh, principal at Frank Rushton Elementary School in the Rosedale neighborhood.
Karin and Sarah met with Mary and other teachers from the school and explored several programs already offered in the area, as well as other options. In the end they chose the “Girls and Moms on the Move” program. The program initiated at the Minneapolis Heart Institute and is designed for mothers and daughters to get healthy, be active, and have fun together. Several meetings over the next year or so were held to organize all aspects of the program before starting it in the spring of 2011.
“Girls and Moms on the Move” is a 6-week program meeting once each week. The meetings were attended by a handful of 3rd-5th grade female students, teachers, community volunteers, and the principal. Each meeting began with a healthy homemade snack either donated by a local business or prepared by the volunteers. Karin and Sarah would conduct a short lesson on various health topics. Finally the group would complete a measured route, either walking or jogging at their own pace. The program culminated with the Mother’s Day 5K Walk/Run on May 8th at Corporate Woods in Overland Park, Kansas. The program provided monetary compensation for the event entry fees for the girls and their mothers. Also, a local company donated “gently used” athletic shoes for some of the participants.
The program was tremendously successful! Check out what some of the participants had to say:
Karin- “I feel the program was a great success! I think it sparked an interest in physical activity for the girls, their moms, and even some of the teachers.”
Sarah- “Many of the moms said they felt empowered and very proud in completing the 5K race. We hope to continue the program in both the fall and the spring.”
Participating Mother- “My daughter is choosing activity time over TV.”
3rd Grade Girl- “I really liked the race!”
Another Participating Mother- “It is something I would never have done on my own. I like it and would do it again!”
Principal- “It was a great opportunity for girls and their moms to spend some quality time together, engaged in productive activity.”
5th Grade Girl- “Since the program started, I finish my homework and go out and run.”
PE Teacher- “I enjoyed seeing the girls in a different atmosphere, outside of class time, and getting to know them better.”
Classroom Teacher- “I enjoyed seeing the girls doing an activity with their mothers.”
PE4life would like to congratulate all the organizers, volunteers and participants of the Frank Rushton Girls and Moms on the Move program- YOU ROCK! To get more information on this program you can email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 612/863-3979.
We encourage you to extend PE beyond the walls of the gymnasium and to get your students, parents, school and community active and healthy- be a catalyst for change!