Cheney Students and Staff Get 2014 Off to Healthy Start

kids at playCheney Elementary teachers and students have jumped into a variety of activities to get 2014 off to a healthy start.

Cheney principal Tracey Gibson and Kahlil Ortiz, assistant principal, have started an after school physical fitness club for students offered on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The seven students—grades three through five—have pedometers and are tracking steps. They also play basketball and soccer and even golf when the weather permits. For indoor activities the club uses the Viking Vitality Room where there is a Wii game system.

The club, designed to make students aware of the importance of physical activity and good nutrition, is offered as part of the school’s after school tutoring program. Representatives of the Florida Dairy Farmers organization–which recently awarded grant funding to Cheney and 11 other schools in Winter Park, Maitland and Eatonville for programs promoting good nutrition and physical activity—recently brought a blender bike to a club meeting. Students pedalled away on the bike to make healthy smoothies.

Cheney teachers and staff are on a mission to lose weight, according to Margie Martinez Colon, one of Cheney’s Healthy School Team Leaders. The school’s weight loss challenge has about 12 participants and it will run for 11 weeks, ending just before spring break.

Each participant contributed $10 to join the weight loss competition, she said, and weekly prizes are given to the staff member who loses the most weight for the week. A grand prize will be awarded at the end of the competition to the person who loses the most weight.