By Belinda M. Paschal
PIQUA — The 20 students in Jane Peck’s second grade class at Favorite Hill Elementary School took a fitness challenge and proved they were more than up to the task by winning the most points.
The project required all second-graders to take home cards to document that they exercised at least 10 minutes each day. Each 10-minute increment was worth one point and Peck’s students racked up almost 400 points.
Their efforts paid off in the form of a “fitness party” Friday in the school gym, where they enjoyed not pizza and punch, but more healthful offerings at five “fitness stations” taught by YMCA instructors, with activities ranging from Zumba, pilates and yoga to hula hooping and jumping rope.
“All fitness is lots and lots of fun,” said Heather Sever, health and wellness director for the local YMCA branch. Sever, along with Miami County Public Health nurse Michelle Cox, has been visiting the school monthly since last October to teach the students about nutrition and fitness.
As he balanced precariously on the flat side of a Bosu ball, 8-year-old Ayden Smith proclaimed, “This is like surfing!” It was hard exercise, he noted, yet he came back for more numerous times.
In the “Fun Zone,” Kelli Hollis, 7, proved she was an expert hula hooper, rotating the multi-colored ring for several minutes at a time. “I like to compete with my brother, and I always win,” she said. “I also like to do it around my neck!”