PCES chosen for academic, health series

Published 11:00 pm Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Pike County Elementary School Principal Anita Grant is always looking for new opportunities for her students.

This time opportunity found her.

Pike County Elementary School has been selected as one of 14 Alabama schools to participate in the Institute for America’s Health’s Wellness, Academics & You (WAY) Series.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

WAY is a classroom-based health and academic series of wellness programs for kindergarten through sixth grades that is designed in accordance with No Child Left Behind. Its primary goals include increasing students’ physical activity, improving healthful nutrition choices and enhancing academic performance.

“WAY also provides teachers with resources, professional development and on-going support,” Grant said. “Natalie Steed, national director for the institute, will be at PCES [today] for teacher training. Our teachers are very excited to be included in this program.”

Grant said WAY also involves parents, family and community members.

“WAY integrates an interactive wellness program into the core classroom and provides teachers with the resources and tools to launch and sustain the program.”

Grant said WAY is a way to get students “awake” and ready to learn.

“WAY is an active and fun way to learn and a great way to get the school day off to a good start,” she said. “Each class has a 15-minute homeroom period. WAY will provide the teachers with a CD of play activities. We will use about three minutes of the homeroom period for play activities for the younger students.

“The CDs have children who model the activities, which are actually exercises. In one activity, the children are instructed to touch different parts of their body such as their scapula, so they learn vocabulary while they are having fun exercising.

“There are ABC songs and the Jungle Jive where they move like different animals. The CDs are a different way to exercise.”

The students learn about their health and how to stay well while improving their language arts, math and science skills.

“In grades two and three, students explore health issues that face them everyday,” Grant said. “The students in grades four through six learn about their bodies and wellness and how they can be the ‘greatest they can be.’”

The WAY program is provided to the school free of charge and also provides funds for the school to offer field trips and programs related to health and wellness.

“At PCES, we sell snacks that are healthy choices,” Grant said. “We are participating in the ‘Go for the Gold’ program that encourages healthy eating. We are doing different things to encourage our students to make healthy choices and that includes exercise and healthy eating.”

Grant said the WAY program is a fun and exciting opportunity to integrate nutrition, education and physical activity into the core classroom subjects.

“We appreciate this opportunity for our students and thank Ms. Steed and the Institute for America’s Health for selecting Pike County Elementary School as one of the participating schools.”