Return to Headlines

Clear Creek-IU Health Strong School 2015

(Bloomington, IN)— Clear Creek Elementary School has been designated an IU Health Strong School as a result of a grant awarded in the amount of $1,000. This grant is funded by IU Health in collaboration with Action for Healthy Kids, which is a national non-profit organization dedicated to promoting school health. Clear Creek is using the grant funding to implement monthly family fitness nights this school year. Upcoming fitness nights at Clear Creek are January 22, February 26, March, 25, and April 23 from 6:00-7:30pm.

During the fitness nights, families rotate to three different stations in the school building to participate in various fitness games, exercises, and physical activities. All of the activities at each station consist of practical ideas that parents and children can do at home together to be more physically active. Station activities include relay races, dancing, hula hooping, aerobics, volleyball, calisthenics, and creative games involving movements. Community partners from Indiana University and the YMCA, as well as teacher volunteers, have led stations and provide supplies, equipment, and concepts that families can use at home for exercising. After completing the activity stations all families meet in the cafeteria to enjoy a healthy snack and view a brief nutrition lesson.

Nutritional value, recommended serving portions, the food pyramid, meal tips, snack suggestions, and healthy recipes are all topics included in the health lesson taught to parents and children. Susan Dick, assistant principal, noted “The health lesson is an important component of our fitness night so parents can understand and identify smart food choices for their children. Eating right and exercising go hand in hand.”

Door prizes are given at the conclusion of the event and include a bag with a variety of items that promote and support physical fitness for the entire family. Families are also given passes to the YMCA. Brochures and handouts are sent home with families listing community resources for health and wellness and more at home ideas for leading healthy lifestyles. Assistant Principal Susan Dick who wrote the healthy school grant commented, “Our goals of hosting the fitness nights are to help families become more knowledgeable about the importance of physical activity

and healthy eating habits. We hope parents will learn simple ideas for fitness activities that they can do at home with their children.”

Feedback from parents has been very positive. Parent Alia Rheam remarked “My children and I love the family fitness nights. It makes exercising fun instead of a chore and provides an opportunity to spend time together during a hectic week. We like that there are many activities to keep us engaged and entertained. It's just as much fun for the adults as it is for the kids.” Another father noted “It was nice to spend time exercising with my daughter and meeting other families. It was a great way to get out of the house on a cold night and be active together.” Gina Stancombe, parent and literacy coach at Clear Creek said,

“I attended Clear Creek's family fitness night with my daughter, Drew, who is in Kindergarten. She had a fabulous time. There were different stations from jump roping to Zumba set up for each family to rotate through. I even got my own workout in for the night. It was family time well spent. We talked about healthy snacks and made food art. My daughter is excited to go back to the next fitness night and take her older siblings.”

Clear Creek has placed a strong emphasis on health and wellness for their students. During the 2013-2014 the school won first place in the MCCSC Healthy Schools Challenge based on the success of health initiatives. They grow a school garden on their property, offer a salad bar in the cafeteria, lead monthly food art during lunch periods, and participate in programs such as Andrew Luck’s Change the Play, Energizer through the YMCA, Goal University through IU Health, Adventure to Fitness, and Move It Minutes. These programs are all in addition to daily brain breaks, Physical Education classes, recess activities, and a recently implemented step challenge competition among students using pedometers. The school is committed to lifelong health and wellness of students. Susan Dick said “Healthy students are happy students, and that is what we love to see at Clear Creek.”