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Fourth-grade students from the Kearney area will learn about health and wellness at the second annual Nebraska On The Move Kids Fitness & Nutrition Day set for Friday, Sept. 16, on the University of Nebraska Kearney campus.
The day’s activities take place from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Cushing Coliseum and Foster Field.
Renee Steinkruger, program coordinator for UNK’s Health & Wellness Program, said that fourth-graders are a good age to work with because they are learning about nutrition and are influenced by college role models.
Last year, the f itness and n utrition d ay drew approximately 450 fourth-graders. This year, according to Steinkruger, more than 550 youth have already registered.
Nearly 90 volunteers, largely comprised of UNK students, will help with the various activities. Among the volunteers are UNK health and physical education majors and teachers, University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Nursing students, along with registered dieticians. In addition, members of the UNK baseball team, women’s basketball team and the wrestling team will also be helping that day.
When they arrive, fourth graders will be divided into two groups, with one group going to Foster Field for physical activities and the second group going to Cushing Coliseum to participate in educational nutrition stations. The students work in their respective stations and then trade places after lunch.
Some of the physical activities include step aerobics, obstacle courses and pedometer activities, with each child taking home a pedometer, courtesy of Two Rivers Public Health in Holdrege. Nutrition stations will teach the youth about hand washing, healthy snacks and MyPyramid, the new USDA standard nutrition guidelines.
Steinkruger said that the overall purpose of the event is to open the eyes of young people to consider energy balance–how physical activity and nutrition work together to maintain health. She said that if they can find a physical activity that they truly enjoy doing or an activity in which they excel, they may be more active and therefore more healthy in the future.
Schools with fourth graders participating in the event include Alma Public Schools, District 13 inCozad, Elm Creek Public Schools, Franklin Public Schools, Gibbon Public Schools, Franklin Elementary in Holdrege, Overton Public Schools, Wilcox-Hildreth Public Schools, and Bryant, Central, Emerson, Glenwood, Kenwood, Meadowlark, Northeast and Windy Hills elementary schools in Kearney.
UNK is sponsoring the activities for the day, along with the Nebraska Beef Council, the All Recreate on Fridays (ARF) Movement, and the Two Rivers Public Health in Holdrege. Nebraska On the Move Kids Fitness and Nutrition Day will also be held in North Platte and Hastings in late September.