The EWOW (El Dorado Working on Wellness) program for USD 490 third graders concluded last week with the Kansas Kids Fitness Day.
Throughout the program, students at Grandview, Skelly and Blackmore Elementary schools completed two weeks of physical activities, led by YMCA trainers; two weeks of nutrition with SBA dietitians; and one week focused on health, led by the SBA school nurse navigator. Students also received a water bottle, and pedometer as part of the program, as well as a journal to record their exercise and the foods they eat.
Third grade teachers at all of the schools noticed improvements in their students after they completed this program.
“I have noticed more students choosing salads for lunch since we first started the EWOW program,” said third grade teachers at Grandview. “Also, students continue to wear their fitness trackers months after the program concluded. Additionally, I know that the students take the initiative to keep pretty active during recess. Compared to last year’s class, who did not have this program, this is a significant improvement. I appreciate all the entities who pulled together to make health and fitness a priority for our third graders.”
Skelly saw similar results, with their teachers saying, “Thank you for all the work you did for the EWOW project for third grade. The kids really enjoyed it and talked about it a lot! Many took lots of pride in their accomplishments.”
Teachers saw the students at Skelly be more aware of their physical activity during the school day, as well as pay more attention to what they were eating. They do brain breaks and the kids seemed to work hard and be more active during them because of the program.
Blackmore third grade teachers added that, “the kids really enjoyed learning about being healthy. They loved the pedometers a lot. I think it would be neat to graph their step totals as a class next time. I would also like to integrate what was taught in the gym and teach in the classroom. I believe there was some math, science, and writing standards being integrated. I think it was a great program.”
At the end of the program, SBA staff had 31 tracking journals returned for a $5 QT gift card.
The idea for doing this with third graders was that they were at the age where they are starting to have independence and make decisions.
The EWOW committee wanted to get the program, which is a partnership between the SBA Foundation’s Mary K. Connell Fund for Wellness, YMCA and USD 490, back into the schools, and specifically, work more directly with students. The program lasted five weeks at each of the schools.