Washington Evening Journal
http://washington-ia.villagesoup.com/p/993255

Neighbors Growing Together | Aug 23, 2014

Mid-Prairie wins Healthy State K-12 Cup Challenge

By David Hotle | Apr 24, 2013

WELLMAN — Mid-Prairie Schools Superintendent Mark Schneider said this morning that he would travel, along with selected staff members and students, to the State Capitol Rotunda in Des Moines to pick up the award for the district’s win of the Live Healthy Iowa K-12 Challenge Cup.
This morning the Live Healthy Iowa program announced that the school district was among the cup challenge winners. Gov. Terry Branstad, Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds, and Cup Challenge co-chairs Steve Lacy and Bill Leaver will present the awards. The K-12 challenge was added this year, and the winner is determined based on a combination of student and staff participation and challenge completion. According to a press release, Mid-Prairie had 92.06 percent participation and 66.28 percent completion.
“We had a districtwide meeting and appealed to them that it was the right thing to do,” Schneider said. “The teachers promoted it in class. In the community, many businesses helped promote the challenge. It really was a communitywide effort.”
The 10-week challenge was held from January to April. All the school districts, as well as several individuals and businesses, participated. Statewide, 272 companies, 38 communities and 21 schools competed for the trophies.
Schneider said that school nurses Jenna Grout and Lori Minor had organized the district’s participation in the challenge. He said during a districtwide meeting, he had spoken with all the teachers and staff to encourage more student participation. He didn’t stop at the boundaries of the school district. Schneider also said that many area businesses, as well as parents, had aided to ensure the students followed through with the program.
“It was so much fun,” Grout said. “The kids got into it. The staff got into it. The parents got involved.”
She said when the event rolls around again next year, she hopes to encourage participation in the community earlier. She said the district had participated in both student and staff events for the challenge.
“We wanted the staff to be involved too, as role models,” Schneider said.
Schneider and Grout said that all the school buildings in the district held special events each week to ensure the students were participating. In most schools, one day a week was set aside for working out on top of regular PE and recess. This took the form of games or other activities such as dancing. Grout said sometimes the staff would get together after school to work out.
During the challenge, the parents were required to document physical activity and food consumption. Grout said many parents had been involved, documenting the students’ efforts in the areas schools focused on. Areas of focus during the event included vegetables, fruits, milk, water, and decreasing “screen time.” She also said there was a “food of the week,” which area grocers had specials on.
Schneider said that he had also added some incentives for staff to get involved. He had drawings for gift certificates and a catered meal for participants.
Grout said there has been no discussion on a plan of action for next year’s challenge, but she hopes the district will do as well.

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