“Healthy Us…Healthy You” is the initiative Grover Cleveland Middle School completed throughout the 2015-2016 school year. The overall project focused on improving healthy lifestyles and fitness within faculty and staff. “Healthy US…Healthy You” influenced and encouraged students to participate in fitness activities and make healthy life choices. Approximately 640 students and 60 faculty members were impacted by Grover Cleveland’s grant initiative during the initial year!
As a result of receiving the mini-grant, Grover Cleveland renovated an auxiliary gym space that was previously used as storage into a fitness and wellness center. The grant provided funding to purchase the initial equipment and material for basic fitness classes and activities. Students also participated in free CrossFit Kids after school programs taught by volunteer trainers from a gym in the community. Teachers met after school on a daily basis for group workouts. During the regular school day, the fitness center provided the physical education teachers an extended classroom beyond the normal gymnasium. Students had the option during gym class to participate in team-based activities or take part in individual circuit training workouts in the fitness center. When given the options, close to 40% of the students chose the fitness center. This was especially true for some of their students who lack the motor skills and/or physical abilities for competitive team sports, but can move at their own pace in a teacher supervised circuit training routine. Along with the new fitness center, Grover Cleveland launched many healthy “challenges” throughout the year that encouraged students and staff to exercise and eat healthy. “Just Do It January” was one of their most successful challenges. Teachers created teams and earned points for everything from eating healthy, exercising and logging in a targeted number of steps. Later in the year “Move it in May” again challenged teachers and students to work together while engaging in healthy habits.
This year Grover Cleveland’s grant with enable them to purchase spin bikes to add to the fitness center and offer after school spin classes to students and staff. Their initiative is two-fold: (1) to show students the fitness and cardiovascular benefits they can get from cycling, and (2) encourage more\students to ride their bicycles to school. Along with their parent-teacher association and school nurse, Grover Cleveland Middle School will be supporting a Ride Your Bike to School day/month and provide morning breakfast for those students who participate. We are excited to see Grover Cleveland’s initiative in action!