Week 4, Story by Carol Goodrow, Photos Mary Anne Williams
Footprints to health
We're into week four and club is better than ever!
For me, it's a dream come true.
DREAM PART 1: First, it's early in the season and the kids are pouring in with healthy snacks. I have never seen so many whole fresh fruits in one classroom. And the reasons?
1. The kids earn a sticker for each time they bring a healthy food to club. They place the sticker on an apple cutout that's on the outside of their footprint folder. It's as simple as that.
2. The kids carry their Happy Feet, Healthy Food books home and journal with their parents. The text itself makes it clear what we consider a healthy snack.
3. We discuss healthy eating at club. Lots of attention is given to the kids who bring good healthy snacks. They get a lot of praise and they get their photos taken.
DREAM PART 2: The kids are coming to club with their journals completely filled in. They are journaling every day with their parents at home.
Last year, it was a rarity that a child would actually journal every day at home. This year it's the norm.
This girl journals at home. She then "earns" footprints for each day that she journals at home. And what does earning a footprint mean? It simply means that she earns the privilege of drawing a footprint in her club folder for each activity (or verb) that she has recorded in her journal at home. This is not a competition. There are no "prizes" offered to the child who has the most footprints. It's simply FUN for the kids to design a footprint trail. The more they exercise and keep track, the more elaborate their trail will become.
Leonard's journal - He earned many footprints for this work. Notice that he has underlined the verbs. He earns a footprint for each verb. Some children underline the verbs and others draw footprints around the verbs in their journals.
The weather has finally turned mild and the field has dried. We really enjoyed our running today. We ran on the trails and then we stopped to look around and notice the colors. We saw: mostly brown, gray, white, a little green, and very blue skies. The students spent a couple quiet moments observing for they knew that we would break out the pastels and draw as soon as our after-running journaling was complete.
We ran down the hills, ran and walked back up them. Then we explored some new trails.
The children still had energy to burn. We headed up to the field and the kids did a lap at the pace of their choice. Then into the classroom for water, journaling, and art. It was a wonderful day at a fun club with an even more wonderful bunch of children.
Every day there are articles in the paper about the obesity crisis in our country. The journalists claim that children are sedentary and that they fill themselves with junk food while sitting in front of the TV. Perhaps this is so, but I've found that it's easy as pie to get children up and moving.
Just start with a young child. Then add a cup of TLC, a quart of education for both parents and kids, a pint of fun, and a tablespoon of common sense. Top it off with large portion of afterschool club activities and the crisis is easily prevented.
Just as they finish their parents are arriving to take them home. They leave with their books, so they can journal at home, earning "footprints" for their charts at club and another day at the club has come to an end.
For more information please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
THE TEXT: HAPPY FEET, HEALTHY FOOD, Your Child's First Journal of Exercise and Healthy Eating
LINKS TO CLUB 2004
THE AUTUMN CLUB TEE
WEEK 1 ADDING COLOR TO THE FALL CLUB
WEEK 2 AUTUMN CLUB LESSON AND RUNNING
WEEK 3 AUTUMN CLUB LESSON AND RUNNING
WEEK 4 AUTUMN CLUB LESSON AND RUNNING
WEEK 8 HAPPY FEET FAMILY FUN RUN
TRACKING MILEAGE AND HEALTHY EATING
TEN-WEEK SPRING SCHEDULE
AUTUMN AND SPRING
TIPS FOR LEADING A SUCCESSFUL CLUB
LINKS TO LAST YEAR'S SPRING CLUB
First Week at Miles of Math
Second Week at Miles of Math
Third Week at Miles of Math
Fourth Week at Miles of Math
Fifth Week at Miles of Math
Sixth Week at Miles of Math
Seventh Week at Miles of Math
Eighth Week at Miles of Math
Ninth Week at Miles of Math
Tenth Week at Miles of Math