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Teacher: Genni Lach who teaches at Harrison Elementary in Lakewood, OH. Genni Lach can be contacted at Genni.Lach@lakewood.k12.oh.us.

Name of Best Practice: Harrison Family Fitness Night

Rationale/Purpose of Event: To involve our community with an activity that will help them learn more about fitness.

Suggested Grade Level: K-8

Materials Needed: Gymnasium, tables, microphone, whatever equipment the presenters or exhibitors need.

Harrison Family Fitness Night

Our families come from low socio-economic backgrounds. Many of whom speak little or no English. I want to provide them with as many opportunities to receive healthful information and this is one of the ways I provide that.

Five years ago I started a Family Fitness Night. It was to be an activity and informational night for our students and their families. I brought in 3 different instructors to teach 3 different physical activities and invited agencies to participate with informational tables. The activities were to give them an opportunity to try the exercise so that they could perhaps persue involvement either through the local YMCA or recreation department who were also present with their information about their programs. Some other participants included: The American Heart Association, our local hospital which provided nurses who did free blood pressure screenings and the Cuyahoga County Board of Health. Each year I have provided different activities and have added more participants like the American Cancer Society and the Cleveland Dietetic Association to name a few. Some of the activities are:

  • karate
  • cardio-kickboxing
  • yoga
  • jazzercise
  • aerobics
  • body sculpting and
  • pilates.

Through donations we provide healthy snacks and beverages. Sometimes there are door prizes. Our school has been recognized by the city with a few proclamations for helping our families become healthier by encouraging exercise and getting them healthful information including health insurance. Healthy Start has been a partipant as well. Next year, I hope to also have the Diabetes Association as a participant. This night is a collaborative effort between myself and our Parent Resource Coordinator (social worker). As long as I am at that school, Family Fitness Night will be an annual event.

Variations:

Vary the activities each year. Provide different types anaerobic and aerobic.

Teaching Suggestions/Tips:

Find out what your community has to offer. I haven't had to pay for any of the instructors that I have had. They have been from our YMCA, recreation department or other local resources.

Also, I have had a theme each year. Some of those have been: 2001 a Family Fitness Odyssey, How Fit are You in 2002?

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Posted on PEC: 5/10/2011 and has received 56 votes.

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