Jennifer Hall, All Star Teacher 2008
It has been two years since I was named
an All Star Teacher with Project Fit America. There have been many
changes and exciting happenings in the physical education program
since we received the PFA equipment in 2006. Our school was and continues
to be inspired to have “Healthy
Kids-Fit to Learn.”
It has been two years since I was named an All
Star Teacher with Project Fit America. In those two years I have
been focusing on fitness in new a different ways each year. My
first goal was to get the Workout Wednesday program started so
that parents would take over. The program is modeled after the
Team Fit PFA program. On Wednesdays during recess parents are available
with cards for keeping track of different PFA station activities
and a running club. This year we had over 200 different students
participate in the program. That’s almost
half of our school. There were four parents that volunteered their
time each week to help students and have commented that the program
is perfect for students who would otherwise do nothing during recess.
As students complete goals they are awarded PFA ribbons and we also
use toe tokens as motivational tools.
I’ve been working with my brother over the past two years
to develop an after school program for boys that uses the TCC concepts.
There was already an international program in place for girls at
our school called Girls on the Run. The goal of the program is to
promote self esteem and healthy living through running. It is a wonderful
program and if you don’t have it in your school, you might
want to check out how you can get it. Many boys and their parents
were asking why there wasn’t a program for them. My brother
is a personal trainer certified in kid’s fitness and I approached
him to see if he would be interested in starting a program at my
school. He jumped at the chance and the program is now in its second
year. He is currently in talks with other Arlington schools to expand
the program next year.
Another event that is near and dear to my heart
is our annual 5K and 1 Mile Fun Run and Walk. This was our fifth
year and the event was better than ever. Each year the race grows
and for the first time we sold all of our race slots. We invite
not only our school community but the greater Washington D.C. area.
Our goal is to promote family health and fitness by providing an
event that families can come to and enjoy together. We have everything
from first time 5K participants to local triathlons teams that
participate. We hope that by opening up the event to the greater
community it shows our school’s commitment to leading a healthy
and active lifestyle.
One of the most exciting events that took place happened just a
few months ago. I am always looking at ways to tie in real world
events to the physical education program. This year we hosted the
ASFS Winter Olympic games. We used a little creativity and developed
modified winter events that students participated in during each
class. They were all assigned countries to represent and earned points
for participation in class, teamwork, sportsmanship, and bringing
information from home about the Olympic Games or their country. As
a culminating activity we were fortunate enough to have been selected
for a special guest to come and promote our theme of a healthy and
active lifestyle. On April 20, eight time Winter Olympic medalist
Apolo Anton Ohno came to our school to talk to our students. It was
a great event that was put on by the Century Council and PE 4 Life.
We were fortunate to also have in attendance the Secretary of Education,
Mr. Arne Duncan. The Washington Post covered the event:
I am excited about what the future holds for our school and our
program. Next year, we will be gaining a full time physical education
teacher. Up to this point, I have been the only full time teacher.
I have set a few goals that I look to implement over the next few
First, I would like for my school to work towards
receiving the Virginia Governor’s Nutrition and Physical
Activity award. The award is broken down into gold, silver, and
bronze. I am hopeful to receive at least bronze next year and work
our way into earning GOLD!!
Second, I am currently planning on expanding the Workout Wednesday
program into not only recess, but my physical education classes for
the day. The idea is to use just one day of the week for all students
in grades 3-5 to focus solely on fitness. We would have four different
fitness circuits that students rotate through in the course of a
month. They would be directly related to the PFA program as well
as a chance for students to work on their own personal fitness goals.
Finally, I would like to continue to promote
fitness among the families in our school. This year we started
a spring wellness challenge where we encouraged families to record
physical activity and nutrition on logs for six weeks. The program
ends in late June and I am looking forward to see how many families
participated together. I’m
also looking into starting a program called Movin’ Mondays.
This will hopefully be a time where families will come outside and
run/walk our fitness track and work on fitness activities using the
PFA equipment. This idea is a work in process and still in the planning
As I finish writing this up, I am looking forward
to the summer. I use the time off for rest, relaxation, and rejuvenation.
fortunate enough to take the summers off. When people ask if I work
during the summer my standard response is that I “work on my
golf game.” I’m also looking forward to a trip home
to see my family in Florida and my annual summer baseball trip.