Burris Laboratory School received a $2,000 grant for an eight-week program with students, teaching them to be more active and how make healthy choices.
The program started Aug. 23 will end with the annual Chase Charlie race during Family Weekend.
David Pierce, assistant professor of Sports Administration, said the program will help students grades four through six build up for their last event, where they will run a mile.
The four-day-a-week program is being run by Ball State students and faculty from the sports administration and exercise science programs.
Although the program's goal is to have students fit through running activities, the program at Burris has blocks for fitness and activities to keep students playing while running as well, Pierce said.
"The whole program does not consist of just running 15 to 20 minutes," he said. "We have blocks where students run up to one-fourth of a mile or one-half of a mile. But then we also have games like capture the flag and agility exercises."
Jay McGee, principal of Burris, said the program serves to promote fitness awareness. So far, the program has been received positively by students and parents.
"I think this has very positive effects on students," he said. "It offers positive things students can do after school other than sitting in front of a TV."
While only about 15 students are in the program, Pierce said he expects more students to gain interest and join.
This was the second time Burris applied and was awarded the grant. The academy was one of 60 schools in the U.S. that received the grant from Run for Something Better, which funds school-based running programs "in an effort to combat child obesity before it begins."
Last year, Burris was one of 50 schools selected to receive the grant.
"I think these types of efforts are definitely needed," Pierce said. "Now there are comprehensive groups and people that create these programs, because we can't expect for the government to create a program and everyone will become healthy."
After the first year of the program, the academy was more organized and had more students sign up, Pierce said.
"We have made a lot more changes. We're more organized this year," he said. "We have more equipment, a lot more resources at our disposal for training than last year."
The Ball State sports administration and exercise science programs have worked before with students on fitness programs and camps. In the summer, they had a Health and Wellness Camp at Blackford County as part of an immersive learning project.
McGee said he thinks the creation of programs like Run for Something Better will increase the involvement of children and communities.
"Finding ways to cut inactivity among children can only be done through community efforts," he said.
Article by Sharon Hernandez Monday, September 5, 2010
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