Johnson Elementary and Jackson Roadmap to Health Equity have been in partnership since 2009 to promote fitness and healthy eating. The partnership focuses on helping staff and students learn how to live a healthy lifestyle through wise diet choices and exercise.
Jackson Roadmap to Health Equity’s goal was to enlighten students about exercise and make it fun. Exercising four days a week with a fitness instructor has shown students that it does not take much to stay fit. Students know that as long as they are active and not in front of a TV every day, it is possible to stay fit. Increased exercise periods for students have resulted in a decrease in behavior problems and more focus in the classroom. Most students think they are having an extra day of PE because activities range from dance to relay races. The students get a great workout and in many cases learn a new activity.
Not only are students getting fit and focused, but the staff are also benefiting from a great partnership. Staff members have the option of going to the fitness center after work to relieve stress by participating in fitness class or just being able to work out on equipment. Staff members are excited about coming to work and have demonstrated a great depth of energy during the day because of improvements in eating habits and increased physical activity.
Duration of partnership: 2 years
Impacts 384 students
Activities: Implemented physical fitness into school community 4 days a week, including dance classes and sports activities. Zumba, fitness instructors lead exercise classes during the week and offer lessons on fitness, health and diet. Staff can work out free of charge in gym and also have access to nutritionist. Farmer visited to discuss agriculture and fresh produce. Volunteers act as mentors for male students.
Results: Students observed making healthier choices in food items and exercise. Increased student exercise activity noticed during play periods. Students doing more physical exercise at home versus watching TV. School attendance has increased while illnesses have slightly decreased according to school clinic. Stronger collaboration among teachers since program began.