From October, 2009, through December, 2009, 4th grade students at Sugar Camp and Rhinelander’s Central Elementary, Nativity of our Lord, Northwoods Community Secondary, as well as Trinity Lutheran and MHLT (Minocqua, Hazelhurst, Lake Tomahawk) schools across the Northwoods are once again being issued a fun, “Fitness Challenge”. These kids are being invited to participate in the annual Healthy People Healthy Oneida County 4th Grade Nutrition and Fitness Challenge. The project aims to improve the health of youth by challenging them to practice physical activities every day.
“The Oneida County Health Plan has identified childhood obesity as one of four health priorities,” said Linda Conlon, Director, Oneida County Health Department. “The Nutrition and Fitness Challenge is an annual collaborative effort between Healthy People Healthy Oneida County – Nutrition and Physical Activity Coalition, the schools involved, Marshfield Clinic and Ministry Health Care, to begin to address this serious health issue.
“Because of our partnership with Marshfield Clinic and Ministry Health Care, we are able to offer the fitness challenge to schools across the Northwoods again this year,” added Conlon.
“The challenge is based on the Movin’ and Munchin’ program developed by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction,” said Rachel Gilbert, Physical Therapist, Ministry Rehabilitation Services. Highlights of the program are:
- Parents are provided with permission slips for their children to participate.
- The program awards the children points for participating in healthy activities listed on the Activity Chart supplied to them.
- Throughout the project, youth are asked to track their time in healthy physical activities on the be-weekly record supplied to them - and parents and student are required to sign the record.
- Youth and their families are asked to participate in school community programs and activities.
“Youth who participate are rewarded for their successes,” Gilbert explained. “A number of prizes are being contributed by the American Physical Therapy Association for incentives including; flashlights, pens, buttons, bike reflectors and brochures on healthy activities. In addition there are gift certificates and day passes to the YMCA, bicycles donated by Wal-Mart, t-shirts, water bottles and pedometers. Rhinelander Ice Association and Lakeland Hawks Ice Association are contributing skate passes. Throughout the coming months there will be progress checks and then an end-of-program celebration where we will award the bikes to the winners in December.”
For more information about this program contact; Jay Halminiak, Physical Therapy, Marshfield Clinic Minocqua Center; Rachel Gilbert, Physical Therapy, Ministry Health Care; Marilyn Duschl at the YMCA or Ann Ovsak at Oneida County Health Department in Rhinelander.