The celebration included a ribbon cutting and demonstrations at the school’s new outdoor fitness area. Creekside Elementary is the third area school to receive an HMH-funded grant that provides outdoor and indoor fitness equpiment, curriculum and training for all teachers and staff.
“There are not enough words to truly show our appreciation to Hardin Memorial Health,” Creekside Elementary School Principal Laura Price said. “By providing the Project Fit America curriculum and equipment, Hardin Memorial Health has demonstrated its commitment to the students of this community and the HMH promise of helping those students start life-changing healthy habits.”
Since 1980 childhood obesity has tripled according to the U.S. Surgeon Generals’ Report. In answer to this alarming epidemic, PFA provides an action-based solution that works.
“At HMH, we’re passionate about improving wellness in the communities we serve, and we especially want to do our part in the fight against childhood obesity,” said HMH president and CEO Dennis Johnson. “We’re excited to partner with Creekside Elementary to empower these children and their families to learn healthy habits and enjoy healthier lives.”
All Creekside students in kindergarten through fifth grade have been taught how to use the outdoor equipment and how the activity benefits their bodies, said physical education teacher Allen Brawner. The PFA curriculum, including indoor and outdoor activity, addresses fitness areas such as upper body strength, coordination, flexibility and more.
Brawner noted the initiative goes beyond traditional fitness.
“It’s very rewarding that many students already are talking about how they are building their muscles, but Project Fit also is helping them build social skills, character and leadership skills,” Brawner said.
In 2013, the HMH grant brought PFA to Lakewood Elementary. In 2014, the program was introduced at Lincoln Trail Elementary, where Chad Sweeney was named a National All Star Teacher of the Year earlier this month. School officials have reported improved fitness outcomes at both schools.
As part of a broader partnership of Baptist Health and PFA, HMH was honored last year at the Kyhealthnow School Health Recognition Event. The Kentucky Board of Education Health Subcommittee in partnership with the Kentucky Association of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance sponsored the event to recognize programs that are making Kentucky schools healthier places.