November 7, 2014

At Indian Hill, every school day is moving day

by Staff, Douglas County Health Department

Like clockwork, at 2 p.m. students and educators at Indian Hill Elementary take a minute to move.

The whole school pauses to do desk-side jumping jacks, toe-touches or trunk twists — whatever teacher-led activity each student can do to get their blood pumping.

It’s called “Jammin’ Minute,” part of a bigger initiative at Indian Hill that puts an emphasis on healthy living.

Food plays an important part, too. Twice a week, students also get a fruit or vegetable snack. Sometimes, it’s something familiar. Other times, it’s a food they may not normally eat at home.

Encouraging healthy habits is important in this K-6 school of almost 620 students, where the poverty rate is 97 percent, says Principal Sharon Royers.

“We know that, with that, comes less opportunity to exercise, and the food they can afford isn’t the healthiest. We want to address the whole picture.”

That’s a big reason why Indian Hill has joined Partners for Healthy Schools.

“Before, we had a wellness committee but didn’t have a vision or goals to give us structure,” Royers says.

“We knew we wanted to promote healthy lifestyles and help our children, but we just didn’t know how. Working with Partners has given us the how-to.”

The workshop element of the Partners for Healthy Schools program provided the school’s wellness committee chair with new ideas to discuss with other staff members and support for wellness initiatives that could be realistically implemented.

Today, the school is making progress in its goals and being an advocate for healthier lifestyles.

“Our kids talk about movement and ask what the snack is going to be,” says Royers.

“Talking about how we’re getting exercise and what we’re choosing to eat has become part of our daily conversation.”

Active Living, Healthy Eating


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