Leaders in Action Students Focus on Healthy Living

(Rob Stull is the Outreach Coordinator for the Outdoor Education Center. This is a follow-up to the OEC’s Feb. 8 blog entry.)

The Harpers Ferry Middle School Leaders in Action students have made great improvements toward leading a healthier lifestyle. As reported in an earlier article, West Virginia has the fourth highest obesity rate in the country—nearly 32 percent of the state’s residents are classified as obese. Educating our youth is a powerful tool in addressing this alarming statistic.

The Leaders In Action program at Harpers Ferry Middle School has been focusing on healthy living throughout the past semester. Through guest speakers, fitness testing, and hands-on activities, the LIA students have not only developed a better understanding of the importance of leading a healthy lifestyle but they have shown a significant improvement and their personal fitness levels.

Results from the pre and post-evaluations proved that all of the LIA students showed a positive increase of intellectual knowledge on the health curriculum offered implemented by OEC staff. One student even showed a 73 percent increase.

On Feb. 2, Suzy Munnis, Wellness Director from Shepherd University, and her husband James came to the LIA program and administered the Pre-Physical Fitness Tests to the students. The following tests were conducted:
 Height and Weight
 Sit and Reach Test (Flexibility)
 Step Test (Cardiovascular)
 Sit-Up Test (Strength)
 BMI (Body Mass Index)

Overall, students showed improvement in all three categories of Cardiovascular, Flexibility, and Strength tests.

Moving forward, LIA students plan to continue monitoring their health through the physical fitness tests. Taking the knowledge gained in this unit, the students will begin to look at ways of eating healthier.

Their next field trip will be to Claymont Farm where they will meet and work with the organic farmer and provider of our CSA crop share. The students will then come to the OEC and plant their very own organic vegetable garden. If you would like to learn more about the curriculum taught in LIA or to make a donation to the program, contact us at 304.725.0409.

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