Porter students get physical at fitness fair
By Matthew Stewart | (email@example.com)
Porter Elementary School’s students got the (fitness) beat.
The school’s fourth- and fifth-graders participated Friday in Porter’s fourth annual fitness fair.
“We want students to learn how physical activity contributes to their overall well-being,” said physical education teacher Leesa Taylor. “Additionally, it teaches them the connection between nutrition and a healthy lifestyle.”
Students rotated through 10 stations in 45 minutes.
Representatives from Blount County’s Coordinated School Health (CSH) program, Blount County Health Department and the University of Tennessee Agricultural Extension office spoke to students about important health issues.
Absolute Ballroom, Clear’s Silat, Hard Knox Roller Girls, JakeBreak4Kids and National Fitness Center also organized student activities. Children could learn various dance steps, study tai chi, chase roller derby stars, complete an obstacle course, work on their agility skills, practice types of push-ups and experience the school’s new climbing wall.
After lunch, the school’s fourth- and fifth-graders participated in the American Heart Association’s Jump Rope for Heart program.
Students enjoy fair
Most students were pleased with the fair.
“It was awesome,” said fourth-grader Noah Potter. “We got to do so many fun things. My favorite part was the climbing wall. We got to hold on to the rope, climb and get into the action. I really liked it, and it was my first time ever climbing anything. I definitely want to do it again and again.”
“It was so much fun,” said fourth-grader Savannah Chambers. “I really liked the obstacle course. We got to roll around, shuffle, walk across a balance beam and bounce on the trampoline.”
However, many students, including Chambers, considered the best activity to be the Hard Knox Roller Girls. “I got their autograph!”
“I really liked chasing them and getting to push them,” said fourth-grader Hector Reveles. “They tried to tag me, but they couldn’t get me. I outran them.”
Some students simply liked the emphasis on physical fitness and healthy lifestyles.
“I like playing sports and being active,” said fourth-grader Zoe Payne. “It’s very important to me.”
“If I don’t see someone being active, I always go over and ask them to play,” said fourth-grader Kelsey Woods.
School administrators were pleased with the fitness fair as well.
“Our special area teachers are shared between schools, and Leesa Taylor does an outstanding job,” said Dr. John Dalton, supervisor of Pre-K-5. “As administrators, we really like to see our special area teachers interacting and collaborating with the classroom teachers on these types of programs. We’re very pleased to see such wonderful opportunities, in addition to more traditional educational offerings.”
CSH Coordinator Mary Beth Blevins lauded the fair’s format. “It’s a broad-based approach, addressing physical activity and nutrition. The fair also complements programs, such as “Go, Slow, and Whoa!” These tie-ins are incredibly important, because we won’t make headway without it.”
“Go, Slow, and Whoa!” codes items according to fat, added sugar and calories. The healthiest foods are green or “go”; less healthy foods are yellow or “slow”; and the least healthy foods are red or “whoa!”
Porter’s students can now walk through the food lines, look at items — and the corresponding color codes above them — to make educated decisions about their meals.
Blevins also praised the involvement of Porter’s educators.
“They’re modeling behavior for students whether they’re participating or taking pictures. It’s showing children their health is important.”