W.S. Guy Middle School students celebrated health and wellness Dec. 19 with a day-long program that included health, conflict resolution and community skills.
''Wellness isn't just about physical fitness,'' said Sarah Hallsky, coordinator for the event. ''It is also about emotional health and mental health as well.''
All this and more were covered during the program that took students through activities every 25 minutes throughout the day.
Liberty Community News / Kathleen Evanoff
Karen Studer of Ohio Action for Healthy Kids’ and freelance liaison for CATCH Kid’s Club leads W.S. Guy students in a program called Over, Under, Around and Through during Liberty Leopard Wellness Day held Dec. 19. The day-long program that incorporated health and wellness was held at the Middle School and in parts of the high school. See more photos on Page 2.
Students stayed with their homerooms, Hallsky said, and moved in their groups through the activities. Activities included Zumba dancing, nutrition information, step and core workouts, body resistance workouts, healthy communication, proper lifting techniques among others.
Instructors for the activities included educators from the Jewish Community Center, Psycare, Valley Care, Youngstown State University Exercise Science Club and other community trainers as well as teachers from the school district. High School students also helped out including varsity and junior varsity cheerleaders.
''We were able to use community resources as well as those within the school district,'' Hallsky said.
The interactive games in some of the programs also meet certain curriculum standards, she said, including one game called Around The World. During this activity, students stomp to the beat of of the music playing while passing around large inflated globes. When the music stopped, students had to discuss the location on the globe they were touching with their index fingers.
Another game, devised by Hallsky, which she called X-Factor, incorporated math into the activity.
Hallsky, also a tutor at the school, has a background in physical fitness and a masters degree in health promotion. She was happy to take on the job of coordinator for the event, which was in its second year at the school.
In addition to Hallsky, Karen Studer of Ohio Action for Healthy Kids, participated in activities. Studer, a fitness consultant and trainer for Coordinated Approach to Childhood Health (CATCH) hopes to bring an after school wellness program to the district that includes a nutrition component.
''If the kids are interested in doing it, others will get on board,'' Studer said. ''Kids who engage in physical activity learn better,'' she said.
Ohio Action for Healthy Kids, is sponsored by the Ohio Department of Health and partners with local schools in the state to create healthy environments, according to the organization's website, www.ohioactionforhealthykids.org.
''It's so nice to see everybody coming together to do this,'' Hallsky said.