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Setting Healthy Milestones at Heyburn Elementary School

Heyburn Elementary School
St. Maries, Idaho

Boy Doing PushUpsAs part of its commitment to helping students achieve new milestones, Heyburn Elementary School started a fitness assessment program for students. In the 2018-2019 school year, they have already seen an increase in the number of students participating in and the amount of time students engage in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity.

The fitness assessment is completed at the beginning, middle, and end of year, enabling students to track on their progress, share results with their families, and work with the PE teacher to establish individual goals. Additionally, goals are created for each class and the whole school, empowering students to support and celebrate their peers towards the accomplishment of new milestones. At the end of the year, students will receive recognition for their growth and attainment of their goals.

With physical activity and nutrition going hand in hand, Heyburn incorporated more nutrition education within its PE program. The PE teacher works with classroom teachers, the librarian, and food services staff to coordinate nutrition education. At the beginning of the school year, the PE teacher, food service director, administrator and a select group of classroom teachers created Heyburn’s first School Health Team to implement their grant funded projects and have met more than four times already in the first half of the year.

Together the team has coordinated lessons one day per month focused on a specific aspect of nutrition, such as fruits, vegetables, fat, calories, sugar content, and other topics. The lessons are combined with activities, taste tests and classroom discussion, as well as parent communication on ways to engage in the monthly lesson at home. Having completed a few healthy taste tests already, Kristin Burns, a teacher at Heyburn, shared that “kids are more adventurous when they try new foods with other kids at school.” Brentin, a second grade student, said after last zucchini taste test, “I didn’t think I would like it, but it actually tasted good!”

Kicking off the next half of the year, Heyburn will be celebrating National Nutrition Month with a week-long celebration including daily newsletters with information for families, displays set up in the cafeteria and at the main entrance with nutritional foods, and more. At the end of the year, students will have the opportunity to participate in a grade-based contest to create a healthy lunch menu. The grade that wins will have its menu served one day in the cafeteria at the beginning of the next school year.

Staff and students are thankful for the support they’ve received from Action for Healthy Kids and Go Go SqueeZ and are looking forward to creating lifelong healthy habits as the head into the new year.