The Game Plan: Last February, South Bay Union School District applied for the Fuel Up to Play 60 grant. The Child Nutrition Department selected Emory Elementary as the site to receive the grant funds. Their intention was to inspire the entire student population to come to school early, eat a healthy breakfast and join the before school walk/run club to increase their physical activity.
The Kick-off: Our Dairy Council of California representative, Heather Troska and two of the San Diego Charger Girls came to have breakfast at the school and led the students in a warm up routine before the walking/running club started. The event was a huge success; the cafeteria served two hundred and forty six breakfast meals on May 3rd, compared to the regular average of one hundred and fifty breakfast meals. Once breakfast was finished everyone joined the Charger Girls out on the walking field and participated in a series of stretches and exercises to music. After everyone warmed up, students, staff and parents began walking or jogging laps around the field. The event was really fun and well attended by students, staff and parents.
Students in Action: The Principal of Emory Elementary site was very supportive of the program and she offered to inspire the teachers to volunteer. The Principal distributed gift card incentives to teachers that volunteered to track and encourage students to eat breakfast and participate in the before school walking/running club. Students earned rewards such as pedometers, walking journals, small shoe charms and water bottles for participating in the before school walking club. Emory also paid for logoed tee shirts that said “I Am A Proud Member of Emory’s Running Club” based on the number of laps students either walked or jogged. To encourage continued participation and support of Fuel Up to Play 60, the school displayed nutritional posters, a menu board and baskets for the cafeteria to attractively display fresh fruit and other breakfast items.
Results: Breakfast participation increased by about thirty meals per day and stayed steady the rest of the year.
The before school walking program increased by twenty five to thirty students.
Several staff members and parents also joined and participated in the Emory Running Club on a regular basis.