Buffalo-area school reaps rewards of embracing youth fitness


Sponsored by the Independent Health Foundation

physical education teacher Jason Bernardon used to enter Grover L. Priess Elementary School in Eden and complete his Classes with an old radio youhat never seemed to play the Iplanned station.

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A decade later, theThere are so many Approvals in the gym that it is sometimes hard to believe.

A smartboard and an audio system inflate the decibel and excitement Ilevels. A rock escalation wall and cargo report hanging from the ceiling haI kids aspiring to achieve upper. Aredesigned ground sportsing different colors, shapes, letters and numbers hides fundamental learning topics in full view.

“The children all leave this building knowing how important it is The well-being is,” Bernardon said. “What has increased the most in the last 10 years, Istthey are able to improve their knowledge at such a young age because the foundations are laid.

Iit’s all because of the schools commitment to the Fitness for Kids challenge through the Independent Health Foundation, which was founded 30 years ago to improve the health and well-being of Western New Yorkers. The Fitness for Kids Challenge is one of many programs who support everything from youth football to free welfare projections.

“It’s all so aligned with our ethos,” says school principal Loran Carter. “We really like not just physical fitness and health, but also social and emotional aspects. This building goes in particular do whatever it takes to make something better for the kids.”

The Fitness for Kids Challenge is a year-round program that aims to teach K-5 students about healthy lifestyles through 95210+YOU Goals of:

  • 9 hours of sleep per night
  • 5 or more servings of fruit and vegetables
  • 2 hours or less on the computer, video games, television
  • 1 hour or more of exercise
  • 0 sugary drinks like sports drinks and sodas
  • You – Be your best self

There are currently 44 schools, 575 classrooms and more than 10,000 students enrolled in the programbut Grover L. Priess Elementary School has regularly was afrom High performers. This year there are more than 350 Eden students of 16 classes K-2 – 99% participation assess.

Bernardon and physical ed coworker Friend Francisco pattern lessons around a different healthy habit each month. Their enthusiasm is passed on to the students, who only have 25 minutes of gym class each day.

They also teaches the importance of goal settingresilience, kindness, self-reflection and relationship building – everything using activity newspapersnewsletters and emails to track progress.

OWe understand the extra workload this program can represent,” says Kelsey Garvellithe program coordinator for the Independent Health Foundation, “but then you have teachers like Jason and friend who are willing to invest. »

Because of his purchasethe school has been awarded thousands of dollars in grants and prizes to update his physical ed offeringsone of which was revealed beginning of November.

Thanks to a one-time grant to gaming company Kaboom, the school converteded a empty classroom in a interior jungle gym and slide with portable trampolines, stationary bikes, an arcade basketball machine and more.

Carter to believes in the correlation between physical activity and cognitive learningand Iit is why his school will continue to invest in the Fitness for Kids challenge.

“We know this program impacts everything we do,” says Carter. “IF the children are in good health, happy and having fun, they learn way beyond that. Even our toughest learners can’t wait to be here. IF all a suddenly we build adrenaline because theyre here it will continue in the classroom.”


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