Fit Kids at School
The Fit Kids at School program, started in 2012, is a community children’s health and wellness initiative. In an effort to give back to the community and focus on the prevention of childhood obesity, Flagstaff Medical Center (FMC) has committed $1 million each year for the next three to five years to fund this program and help improve the health and wellness of children in northern Arizona.
In its first year, Fit Kids at School was instituted at 10 elementary schools in the Flagstaff Unified School District. At the program’s onset, 31 percent of elementary aged children in the Flagstaff district were categorized as overweight or obese. Students were getting an average of 35 minutes of physical education a week. Through the Fit Kids at School program, Flagstaff elementary students’ amount of physical activity during school has increased to 270 minutes a week, or 54 minutes a day. This is just six minutes shy of the 60 minutes of daily activity recommended by Let’s Move and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Through FMC’s commitment, one full-time health aide was hired in each school to supervise and organize structured activities before school and at lunch recess. Additionally, aides have a 30-35 minute special area rotation (similar to art, music or P.E.) of structured activity or wellness education with each class once a week. HOPSports Training Systems, a multi-media physical activity program that includes lessons and activities taught by Olympians, sport celebrities, dancers and professional trainers were also purchased and are used by health instructors in each school.
Three of the 10 FUSD elementary schools have been designated as Fit Kids at School pilot schools. In addition to health aides, Fit Kids pilot schools are testing the effectiveness of Brain Breaks, two to five minute, web-based activity breaks classroom teachers can use to provide additional physical activity during the day.
2012-2013 School Year Outcomes
In its first year, Fit Kids at School was able to provide approximately 331,511 minutes of additional structured activity for students in the 10 FUSD elementary schools.
• 220,449 minutes of classroom instruction delivered during more than 5,190 Fit Kids classes
• 111,062 minutes of structured activity (i.e. kickball, tag, etc.) provided before school and during lunch recess
Additionally, the 10 Fit Kids at School health instructors had approximately 293,933 student encounters through the added structured recess activity and class time.
After seeing positive results from the first year of Fit Kids at School, the program will be implemented at additional elementary and middle schools. New schools for the 2013-2014 school year include Williams Elementary School and Sinagua and Mount Eldon middle schools in Flagstaff.
The Fit Kids at School program adapts to each particular school’s needs and because of this is not identical across all participating schools. At Williams Elementary School, students will receive before school and lunch structured recess programs similar to those offered at FUSD but will receive Fit Kids at School classes daily instead of once a week. Classes will be divided into a 20 minute section of physical activity and a 20 minute section of health education provided by two full-time staff members. The Fit Kids at School program at the middle school level includes structured activity before school, during lunch recess, after school on weekly early release days and physical activity classes offered on Thursdays during the school day. After school activities will also be offered at Sinagua Middle School.
Cromer Elementary School, Flagstaff
DeMiguel Elementary School, Flagstaff
Killip Elementary School, Flagstaff
Kinsey Elementary School, Flagstaff
Knoles Elementary School, Flagstaff
Leupp Public School, Leupp (FUSD)
Marshall Elementary School, Flagstaff
Puente de Hozho Elementary School, Flagstaff
Sechrist Elementary School, Flagstaff
Thomas Elementary School, Flagstaff
Mount Eldon Middle School, Flagstaff
Sinagua Middle School, Flagstaff
Williams Elementary School, Williams
With continued success, we hope to expand the Fit Kids at School program to additional schools and communities across north and north central Arizona.