Steamboat Springs Hayden Valley Elementary School students got a healthy jump on the weekend by breaking a sweat and cutting a rug during a school assembly Friday afternoon.
“It’s better than sitting at a desk,” said first-grader Kalob More, whose signature dance move had him circling his hand above his head as though he were about to lasso a steer.
The Get Active, Get Fit assembly was a surprise and a special treat for the students who earned it by being active.
This fall, Principal Rhonda Sweetser signed up the school to participate in the Get Active, Get Fit School Challenge, a program put on by Radio Disney and Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Colorado. The challenge is designed to motivate families to achieve fitness together by engaging in fun activities.
The students at the school logged their exercise and were supposed to be active for a minimum of 40 to 55 days during the challenge, which ran from Oct. 1 to Nov. 24.
At the end of the contest, the 20 Colorado schools with the best participation won what Radio Disney Denver Promotions Manager Jennifer Kemps described as an interactive dance party. Of the 20 schools, five were chosen randomly to receive $500 in gym equipment. Hayden was one of those chosen and received a box filled with balls, Frisbees, jump ropes and hula hoops.
The challenge takes place in six other states. Nearly 32,000 children at 79 elementary schools completed the challenge this past year in Colorado.
“Helping children understand why it’s important to live a healthy lifestyle and showing them fun ways to introduce activity into their daily routine goes a long way toward creating positive habits for the future," Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield President Mike Ramseier said in a news release announcing the challenge winners.
Sweetser said the challenge fit in well with what Hayden Valley Elementary School is trying to teach its students when it comes to fitness and healthy lifestyles. The school works closely with LiveWell Northwest Colorado to roll out programs that tackle the issues aimed at addressing childhood obesity. The Make a Rainbow on Your Plate program is aimed at healthy eating. A banner in the cafeteria displays a rainbow with healthy foods of different colors.
Next up, the school once again will participate in LiveWell’s Let’s Go! 5-2-1-0 program. The program encourages students to eat five or more servings of fruits and vegetables daily, have two or fewer hours of recreational screen time, one hour or more of physical activity and zero sugary drinks.
To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247 or email mstensland@SteamboatToday.com