Earlier this summer, Healthy Schools Campaign hosted Fit to Learn, a program that engages teachers in developing skills to make healthy eating and physical activity a regular part of the everyday classroom experience.
We caught up with Deborah Davis to learn what Fit to Learn has added to her classroom. Davis is a first grade teacher at Hitch Elementary. She has taught for fifteen years and says the most rewarding part of her job is “when you see all those light bulbs go off, it’s like ‘wow!’ They get really excited about the littlest things.”
Hitch got involved with Fit to Learn through HSC’s Go for the Gold initiative. Davis explained “we were looking for Fit to Learn to enhance what we were already doing at our school.” The school recently received Bronze recognition for meeting school food and fitness standards set by the HealthierUS School Challenge.
“We actually started to use some of the activities within the classroom. We were able to use a lot of the different ideas and activities that were presented,” Davis explained. “I think that all the activities and programs that Fit to Learn has to offer are beneficial to teachers. It was a really nice way that they combined the resources and they were teacher-friendly.”
Davis’ school also has an after-school program that encourages healthy lifestyles targeted at younger students and parents.
“The students are really excited!" she said. "Especially when we do anything related to growth or motor activities. Just to get them moving, get their brains circulating...they love it! They really get into it when you show them what things are good for them.”
She has noted that parents have responded well to the program. She shared that parents were excited to see how enthusiastic their children were to create grocery lists and help pick healthy food options for their families.
The teacher adds that students are “really excited to get that approval to say ‘look, I’m doing the right thing. I’m eating healthy.’”
“As teachers, we are bombarded with tons and tons of things,” said Davis. Amid so many demands, teachers have noted that the practical ideas from Fit to Learn can easily be worked into a classroom routine. Davis encourages teachers to embrace health and wellness initiatives. She adds “if you can’t get a lesson in, get your kids moving. Any little bit helps.”
We are excited to see teachers like Deborah Davis take on leadership roles for school wellness and happy that she is able to share her learnings with students, peers and parents!
You can also read the latest Fit to Learn news on our blog.