How I challenge my kids.

-Guest Blog-
Diane Earhart-All Star Physical Education Teacher
South Central Elementary School-Chuckey, TN

The Pride of Wildcats at South Central is blessed to have received the Project Fit America program 13 years ago in 2000. I am in my 40th year of teaching and I love it.  I have added many units and many challenges of which students set goals, try to reach, and when reached, their goals are set a little higher. Challenges are used to keep our program energized, thus working toward making a healthier student who understands that physical activity is a part of a well-rounded, healthy child. Awards are excellent incentives for students; thus producing students who are physically fit.

During the school year we are participating in challenges each nine-week block. All challenges are preceded with intense practice and motivation. The students are not competing with each other, only themselves. Each six weeks a student will try to move further up the ladder on our challenge scale. Levels are as follows: Bronze, Silver, Gold, Kong Levels and Kong Elite level (the highest level that a student may attain.) This is the student that sets the record in the United States among Project Fit Schools. All students are awarded with certificates, ribbons, lanyards, and charms for the lanyard. Some students could win up to 15 different charms for the lanyards. Challenges are used to keep our program energized, thus working toward making a healthier student who understands that physical activity is a part of a well-rounded, healthy child. I have listed the challenges I am offering this year. Awards are excellent incentives for students, thus producing students who are physically fit.


Pacer is a shuttle run to background music with “Beeps” going off to regulated intervals reminding students to start each new run. The interval of the “Beeps” increases by a half-second after approximately eight laps. The distance will be approximately 50 feet each run. Once a student reaches level six, he/she has earned the “Bronze” medal level, which is the “Pacer Pride Level”. When level 8 is achieved, the student has reached the “Silver” medal level. At level 10 the student will have obtained the “Gold” medal level (Big Cookie Club).

At the end of the year all students who have obtained the “Gold” medal level will try for level 12, which is the “Kong Level”. Awards will be presented at the close of the school year. This is represented on the lanyard as a runner. One is earned with each level of challenge obtained.


Lub Dup’r is a fitness rope-jumping challenge. Students will be introduced to rope jumping at each grade level. Once skills have been introduced, the students will follow the following steps. This is represented as a jumper on the lanyard.

2-Foot Jump 2 Foot Jume 2 Foot Jump 2 FOOT JUMP
Jump 1 minute (4-8) (no Flubs) (NO Flubs) 3 MIN (5-8)
(no flubs) Jump 2 min. (5-8) Jump 2 min. 30 sec (5-8) 2 MIN (K-4)
Jump 30 seconds (K-3) Jump 1 min. (K-4) Jump 1 min. 30 sec. (K-4)


Feelin” Good Smile Mile challenge is a jog, run program. The students will be earning a bronze, silver, gold, or Kong award for the levels of this program. This is represented on the lanyard as a foot. If all levels are earned they receive 4 feet and a large foot for Kong.

The student must jog, run, no stopping, ¼ mile.
In our gym, this is 5 laps.

The student must jog, no stopping ½ mile.
In our gym, this is 9 laps

The student must jog, run, no stopping 1 mile.
In our gym, this is 18 laps.

The student must hit the 85% time for their grade level as dictated by the “President’s Fitness Test” standards. (Ex. 5th grade boy= 7:32 minute mile)


This challenge will involve distance a student has walked, jogged, or run during our regular running and pedometer work. The distance the student has traveled for the time period will be recorded and a running record will be kept. This is represented on the lanyard by a number.

Awards will be as follows:
Bronze Award and one Foot: 3 miles
Silver Award and two Feet: 6 miles
Gold Award and 3 Feet: 8 miles
Kong Award and 4 feet: 10 miles


The Hubba Hubba challenge will involve the hula hoop, no ordinary hoop. The hoop used is provided by the Project Fit America. The student will see how long he/she can hula hoop without losing control of the hoop. This will be represented on the lanyard by a thumbs up.


How I reward my students and track their progress.

All students at South Central receive a South Central lanyard on my very own ‘Physical Education Honors Day in May’. On the lanyard are tokens that the student earned on each challenge. Tokens on the lanyard include a runner for Smile Mile. Each level (bronze, silver, gold, kong) will earn a runner, thus a student may earn four. A foot is the token that represents each Pacer level. Lub dup’r (jump rope) has a jump rope token. Hubba Hubba (hula hoop) has a thumbs up token. Laps the students run each day are kept in the journal and on honors day the lanyard will have a number to represent the miles the child has run for the year

A journal is kept on each student at South Central. These are given to each child on Honors Day. Inside the journal are certificates from challenges, lanyards with all tokens earned, ribbons and certificates from the PFA fitness test, certificates from units taught (heart unit, archery, golf, basketball, etc.), a sheet that tells each student what level they reached on Pacer, Smile Mile, Lub Dup’r, Distance (number of miles run for the year), Hubba, Hubba, and any other valuable items the student has earned throughout the year.

At South Central, we have three clubs that have evolved from PFA Chart and Challenge. One special club within my program is” Big Cookie Club”. A special day is set-aside for these club members to come to the gym and try to beat their own level and perhaps set a record. The students work hard to get into this Club. I have some Kindergarten students in this club. To be a member, the student must have reached level 12 on the Pacer challenge. A second club is the Hubba Hubba Club. A student must hula-hoop at least twelve minutes to be a member. These students also get a special day to meet in the gym to try and beat their score. A third club, just incorporated this year is the ‘Smile Mile’ club. Any student who earns the standard set for the mile will be a member. These students will also get to come to the gym and try to improve their time. All club members will get to come to the gym on a special day, break all nutrition rules, (HAHA) and eat Big Cookie.

All in all, my Physical Education Program is one of total student participation – total want to take part – and total love  the program. Thank you Project Fit for making the physical education program at South Central a rewarding program.





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8 Responses to How I challenge my kids.

  1. Molly says:

    Cool stuff! Dianne – you really break down Chart and Challenge in the most comprehensible way. I’m sure we will be getting a call anytime for more Kong Elite National Champs!

  2. Diane your blog is wonderful and very informative. You have such amazing student participation at South Central for your PE program and that is all due to their fearless teacher who loves what she does. I have worked for PFA for a decade and have personally seen your PFA program evolve and grow. You have set the bar high for kids to really enjoy phys ed. and also challenge themselves to achieve their personal best. Keep up the great chart and challenge…you are doing an excellent job getting kids active and fit!

  3. Leslie True says:

    Congratulations with your great physical education programing! I remember our PFA booster session and all your energy! You have kept up the good work energizing your students and it looks like yourself!

  4. Thanks you for sharing. I’m just starting to chart and challenge. I’m thinking that for the remainder of this school year I will choose two components to start with. I’m thinking about the Smile Mile and the Hubba Hubba. My hope is that once I get it going I will have more and more kids that will want to get involved and some parents could step up and help as well.

    For the last several years I’ve had difficulty being able to make it work so that I could come in early and state late in the day as I had a young child I had to get to. Well he’s 12 now and he’s all about these kinds of challenges and is eager to help Mom get it going.

    One question I have is where to you get your lanyards from and where do you get all of the little things to place on the landyards?

    Becky Slibowski
    Skaith Elementary
    St. Joseph, MO

    • Diann Earhart says:

      Lanyards are made at a trophy shop for me. The school name is on the lanyard. The tokens I use are from Fitness Finders

  5. Stacey Cook says:

    Hi Becky…we will check with Diane and get back to you with this information. The Challenges you chose are terrific. We have certificates and ribbons we can give you to support your challenges and soon as those kids see their names up on those charts..the others will “flock” to this! We will be in touch soon!

  6. Leanne Jack says:

    AWESOME! They are blessed to have such an enthusiastic teacher!!!!

  7. steven cox says:

    What a weekend that was for me. Drove by Davy Crockett’s birth place. Got to visit the Andrew Johnson Museum. Went to the reinactment of the Battle of Bluesprings, Saw The ‘Smokeys,’ talked with Dad one of our last conversations and got to meet the energetic, creative, marvelously dedicated Diane EARHART.. SHE HAS AND CONTINUES TO DO MARVELOUS, BROAD BASED FITNESS PROGRAMMING! SHE IS A PRO-KID PRO FITNESS TYPE OF TEACHER!

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