Thanks to a partnership between the Hamilton Southeastern Schools Foundation and the Geist Half Marathon, the new daily routine for many HSE students will now include an innovative wellness program. Fitnessgram is a comprehensive fitness program that has been installed in every elementary, intermediate and junior high school in the district with possible expansion plans into the high school. The program currently serves over 7,500 student participants each year.
District Coordinator, Karen Boyd explains, “Fitnessgram is a state of the art, assessment-focused approach to teaching healthy exercise and nutrition habits critical to reversing childhood obesity trends.” Unlike previous models, Fitnessgram is individualized and criterion-based. The focus is on good health, not simple athleticism or a number on the scale.
The program could not have launched at a better time. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) reports over 15% of Indiana’s youth are considered overweight and another 14% are obese. Beyond those numbers, less than half of our state’s children are meeting recommended physical activity levels and less than 20% are meeting the fruits and vegetable requirements.
Of course, as with any innovative approach, the challenge is the expense. The last several years of reduced state allocations have left little remaining in education budgets. Enter the Hamilton Southeastern Schools Foundation (HSSF). The foundation is dedicated to enhancing the educational experience for all students in the Hamilton Southeastern district. During the last year alone, the Foundation has invested over $100,000 in classroom grants and individual scholarships.
Freedom Kolb, Executive Director, notes “The partnership with the Geist Half Marathon has made FitnessGram possible for our district. It is a high impact, wide reaching project that produces meaningful results for our students.”
For more information about our community partner, the Geist Half Marathon, click here.