Authored by Mary Cluley
Physical Education Teacher
Notre Dame Catholic School, Wichita Falls, TX
I was surfing the web this summer looking for new ways to support my students’ healthy behaviors. I came across the Let’s go! website and decided to adopt the 5-2-1-0 message. It is wonderful in that all students can memorize it very easily. I asked two Middle Schoolers to help me prepare a wall sized bulletin board at the end of our main hallway. I gave them the idea and they designed it! I LOVE it and it is huge and colorful…a real eye catcher. I asked some parents to share photos of our students demonstrating these behaviors, which we then added to the mural. I submitted a picture of the mural to PE Central and they published it online, and I won a $50 gift certificate for our school!
Notre Dame Elementary promotes healthy behaviors year round and 5-2-1-0 is an effective message to support our efforts. We are a strong supporter of the “1 & 2”message, keeping students moving. Our students get physical education (PE) 4 days per week for 30 minutes. Each class also has lunch and morning recess. This is of utmost importance to the children’s daily learning, as it is a proven fact that children concentrate more and do better in school with PE every day and the more recesses the better…to get that blood flowing!
Our school hosts a day of family fun and exercise we call Golden Shoe Day. We always have a GREAT turnout, and we also have many great grandparents and grandparents showing up to exercise with their child. It’s important to us to engage parents and families in our efforts. At our Back to School Night Pep Rally, our 4k, 5k, 1st and 2nd grades did an exercise/music program that was a big hit. In the springtime, we have our jog-a-thon, which is a field day type event and running event.
We also engage community partners to support our efforts. Earlier in the year Midwestern State University (MSU) sent over its volleyball team to teach our students volleyball for a day. It’s good for my students to get exposure to college athletes, who may inspire them! Soon we will begin the PE Central Cooperative Challenge with MSU Kinesiology Students! Last year we worked hand in hand with a class of students from MSU who implemented the Presidential Physical Fitness Testing at our school.
Notre Dame collaborates with our food and nutrition program to provide healthy food and beverage options and support the “5 & 0” message. Our cafeteria supports the 3 E’s of the nutrition program. Eating Right, Education and Exercise. When planning the school lunch menu, we provide more dark green leafy vegetables, red/orange vegetables, other colors of vegetables, and healthy beans. In conjunction with the cafeteria, I am planning a “Kitchen Taste Challenge” for this year. Details are “in the making.”
During the first week of school, I took each class to the “5-2-1-0” bulletin board and explained what it is, and often during PE class I will ask the students, “What does the ‘2’ in ‘5-2-1-0’ stand for?” So I am trying to really get them to memorize it, and most have. I also have put the 5-2-1-0 flyers throughout the school and also just the numbers “5-2-1-0” with no explanation in various parts of our school.
Thanks Let’s Go!