At Monday night’s Valley Central School District Board of Education meeting, fifth grade students from Montgomery Elementary School (MES) demonstrated the Project Fit America Program curriculum.
With the support of the Valley Central and Montgomery Elementary School community, MES won a grant from Dannon and ShopRite for innovative fitness in education. The grant brought the Project Fit America Program to MES, which provides state-of-the-art outdoor and indoor fitness equipment, curriculum and on-site teacher training. There was an official opening day celebration on Oct. 17, 2018 where the ribbon was cut on the new outdoor fitness area at MES.
Together in this partnership, Project Fit America and MES strives to improve the fitness of each and every student. The program is built on the concepts of teamwork, cooperation and communication and strives to help students learn how to challenge themselves and build a fitness foundation that will benefit them for the rest of their lives. It stresses the importance of exercise, rest and socializing.
Project Fit Trainer Ken Chambliss, worked with MES students and physical education teachers, Christine Giudice and Douglas Luciano to help them understand the core concepts of Project Fit and promote lifelong fitness.
“We are so thankful we had the opportunity to get this program,” Luciano said. “It brought a lot of great curriculum, fresh curriculum into the Phys. Ed. Program.”
Students provided examples of the curriculum. One game that they played was called $10 for a bone. For this game, students collaborated to put together a skeleton. This activity is meant to teach children the importance of teamwork, which ultimately leads to rewards.
Tallest tower was another game that the students showcased. This game involves students doing many different physical activities and constructing a tower made out of cups. Luciano noted that this activity also taught life lessons.
“A lot of times the tower will fall down and the kids learn how to cope with that,” he said. “We talk about two different ways, you can either point fingers or kinda stall or understand that we need to keep moving forward and keep rebuilding.”
Students also showed off their hula hooping skills. Then, Valley Central Board of Education members as well MES students played the tennis ball challenge. The object of the game is that whoever catches the most tennis balls wins. Each ball can only bounce once before being caught. Once a ball is caught, the player must hold onto the ball. Students and board members alike smiled as they tested their hand eye coordination while playing the game. Throughout the evening, students showed a tremendous amount of enthusiasm for the curriculum.
“When Project Fit America comes to a school, kids never want to miss PE and teachers report they see fantastic changes not just in their students’ health, but in their attitude toward fitness and healthy lifestyles,” reads Project Fit America’s website.