11th Anniversary of “Project ACES” Challenge!
Release Date: 9/29/2009 2:53:54 PM
Students and employees at all 23 Carroll County public elementary schools and three private schools (Carroll Lutheran School, North Carroll Community School and Gerstell Academy) are gearing up for the 11th annual “Project ACES - Active Children Excel in School” challenge to improve health by increasing daily physical activity. The challenge, which runs from October 5-18, 2009, is sponsored by the Carroll County Children’s Heart Health Action Team. Students in kindergarten to fifth grades, as well as teachers and staff, will track the amount of time spent each day being physically active, aiming for a total of at least 60 minutes a day.
Activities can include brisk walking, playing, bike riding, dancing, sports, martial arts, even yard work. Students can count active time at school recess and gym class. Some schools are having special events to promote the physical activity message, such as fun runs, before and after-school walking clubs, and fitness clubs for students and staff. Teachers and staff are encouraged to take part as well to track their activity and are striving to win a staff luncheon and banner for their school.
Over the past ten years, Project ACES has received 56,058 student entries and awarded $46,350 to schools for Physical Education and Health programs. Last fall, 25 schools took part with 9,590 students and 715 staff completing the two-week challenge.
Over 600 student prizes will be awarded, including t-shirts and memberships to family fitness centers. Individual school PTAs and PTOs will be contributing to student prizes, and schools can earn trophies and award funds for student participation levels.
The Children’s Heart Health Action Team reminds families that regular physical activity strengthens the heart, lungs and muscles and also provides energy, helps control weight, and relieves stress. It can also make students more alert to perform better in school. Most of all, it’s fun! Parents can be good role models by staying active with their children and setting limits on time spent watching television and playing video games and computer games. Encouraging all young people to be more active, along with making good nutrition choices, can help fight the rising rates of childhood obesity and diabetes. Choosing more physical activity, eating healthy foods, and being tobacco-free work together for a healthy heart.
The Children’s Heart Health Team includes the Carroll County Health Department, Carroll County Public Schools, Carroll Community College, Carroll Hospital Center, Cigarette Restitution Fund Program, SAFE KIDS Coalition, Carroll County Department of Recreation and Parks, Partnership for a Healthier Carroll County, Inc. and Westminster City Department of Parks and Recreation.
Awards for schools and students will be announced in November. For more information, call Linda Kephart, Supervisor of Health and Physical Education, at 410-751-3056.