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Healthy Students

Yvonne Yates
Director of School Services, KLRN

As educators, it is our job to ensure that our students are lifelong learners who thirst to know more about everything--knowledge that will extend far beyond the classroom’s lessons in Reading, Math, Science and Social Studies. As an avid reader and seeker of knowledge, I remember reading an interesting quote that made me reflect on my goals as a teacher. “Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”  What was I doing to make sure that my students where healthy, both physically and mentally?

In 2008, the year that I turned a decade older, I took it upon myself to run the Inaugural San Antonio Rock and Roll Marathon. Take into account that I had never run more than half a mile in my life, and here I was committing to running 26.2 miles. Many thought I was crazy, which reflecting back, I might have had a temporary moment of insanity. The ideas to do this came from my sister who had done a full marathon two years prior. She said it changed her life. What better way to celebrate another decade of my life then to subject my body and mind to a commitment of running this full marathon? Training started in June and continued until the marathon in mid-November. I gave up sleeping in on Saturday mornings and caffeine, and changed my eating habits to ensure that my body did not go into total shock from all this exercise.

The school year began in August, and I told my class about the personal goal I had taken on that summer. They asked why I wanted to do this and also what I would gain from it. The answers were simple. I wanted to celebrate with a lifestyle change, and I would gain a healthier body and mind from this commitment. My students helped me train during the week, reminding me to drink plenty of water and asking me first thing in the morning if I had done my cross-training. They held me accountable for my commitment.

The evening before the marathon, I laid out all my gear for next morning and went to bed early.  I woke up at 4:30 a.m. and was at the starting line--teeth chattering and hands freezing. It was a cold morning. The start gun when off and thousands of runners/walkers were off. At about mile seven, I took a wrong step and hurt my knee; I didn’t feel it until mile 13. I was in pain. Just as I was thinking of quitting, I was hurt after all, I saw them. There where my students holding up signs and cheering me on. They cheered me on from mile 13 all the way to the finish line. I finished with a very unimpressive time but it did not matter, I finished.

I came back to work on Tuesday to a classroom full of questions and newspaper articles. My students had been bitten by the running bug and there was no going back. We made a classroom initiative to be healthy--both mentally and physically. We walked two laps at recess to get our hearts pumping, and we had brain breaks to rest our minds when things were getting a bit too stressful and intense in class. It was a great year for all of us. We learned together that our bodies, when taken care of properly, would do amazing things. About a week ago, I got an email from a former student informing me that she was going to be doing the San Antonio Marathon this year. She remembers how much fun it was to watch and now she wanted to be a part of it.

In 1994, the third week of October officially became “National Health Education Week.” It is not only the Physical Education and Health teacher’s job to make certain that students are making conscience food and lifestyle choices. National Health Education Week is an excellent opportunity to engage communities and schools to focus on important health issues that affect our society. The Mayor’s Fitness Council launch on Saturday, October 16 at Woodlawn Lake Park is one way that the Alamo City is taking a step to be a healthier community.
My question to you this month is: How do you encourage your students to make healthy lifestyle choices to promote a better working classroom environment? Click here to comment.

This Month:

Use these KLRN Connect clips to pump up your lessons during National Health Education Week (October 17-23). You must log in to view KLRN Connect clips.

Preparing for a Birthday Party (K-2)
A Segment of: Jake the Apple: Choosing Foods
Jake the Apple talks to students about healthy food choices

Eating Healthy Meals (3-5)
A Segment of: The Good Food Dinner
Children explain what a healthy meal consists of.

Effects of Exercise on the Brain (6-8)
A Segment of: Why Exercise?
This video segment summarizes the effects of exercise on the brain.

A Balanced Meal (9-12)
A Segment of: Nutrition and Digestive Health: Eating for Your Future
A member of the Pittsburg Steelers teams talks about the importance of a well balanced meal to insure a healthy life style.

Try This:

Fizzy’s Lunch Lab: Family Meal Time (Grades 1-3)
This lesson will teach your students about The Plate Method. It is a way to correctly size food portions without weighing or measuring foods.

Evaluating Information on Food Labels (Grades 6-12)
This lesson will assist students in learning to read food labels and what consumers should be able to learn about the food from the Nutrition Fact Panels.

Genetically-Modified Food Grades 9-12)
This lesson takes a closer look at genetically enhanced foods. Student will weigh the pros and cons of these foods in a person’s everyday diet.


Teachers! Help Us Grow Our SciGirls Club
Do you teach girls ages 9-13? Encourage them to join the KLRN’s SciGirls Club. It’s a wonderful destination for girls who love science! Girls get to do fun experiments, share ideas and get together for special activities with other girls who also love science.  Click to download the Permission Form. Send home with your students and have them complete the form, have their parent sign it, and mail it to the address printed at the bottom. That’s it! Once we receive the completed form, we’ll send them a SciGirls package with a t-shirt, backpack, and membership card!

STEM Research Opportunity
If you are a grade 5-8 science, technology, or mathematics teacher, you are eligible to participate in a new STEM research study as a Control Teacher. Take an approved PBS TeacherLine course for FREE and complete two surveys, and then receive a $50 stipend! Study begins October 27. Learn more about STEM research study.

Get Ready for Back-to-Back Premieres of Arthur and Martha Speaks!
On October 11, your favorite bespectacled aardvark and alphabet-soup-eating dog both take center screen in all new episodes! These episodes are all about kids creating. “This season, we’re hoping to empower our young viewers to go after their goals and dreams. Whether that means becoming a wheelchair basketball champion, or expressing yourself through writing, drawing, and making movies, Arthur and his friends show kids that determination and hard work really pay off,” according to Executive Producer Jacqui Deegan. Watch Martha Speaks at 3 PM and Arthur at 3:30 PM on KLRN 9.1-- or anytime at KLRN Kids website.


Featured Program:

No TV in your classroom? No Problem! Fizzy's Lunch Lab is a vibrant, fun, and kid-friendly Web-only series featuring original characters and funny stories that entertain and educate about the importance of good nutrition, a balanced diet, and physical activity. Each week, The Lunch Lab website releases a new animated short video. And monthly food/nutrition themes make it easy for teachers to incorporate into the classroom.


ARTHUR’S Hooray for Health! Guide
Hooray for Health! is a health curriculum activity guide designed for teachers, after-school providers, and school nurses. It was developed by a team of health experts and early childhood educators. ARTHUR characters introduce five units exploring five distinct early childhood health themes: good nutrition and exercise, dental health, emotions, head lice, and asthma. Each unit includes background information, age-appropriate activities, a book list, a featured ARTHUR show, and family activity sheets in English and Spanish. Guides are limited to the first 25 teachers, so request yours today by clicking here!

Contact Us:

Lisa McGrath
Vice President of Education

Yvonne Yates
Director of School Services

Maricella Borroel
Director of Early Childhood Services

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