PERU — Madison and Jennifer Owen, fifth-graders at Peru Elementary School, both enjoy playing softball for their county team, the Peru Yankees.
But the twins also know about the importance of regular exercise and recently took advantage of a new opportunity at school to promote active lifestyles with their parents, Holly and Herb Owen.
“We thought it would be a fun thing to do,” Holly said as the family prepared for an hour of exercise during Peru Intermediate School’s Family Exercise Night Out. “It’s a great opportunity to keep everyone active.”
Created by the Intermediate School’s Wellness Committee, Family Exercise Night Out gives students in grades three through six a chance to work out with friends from school as well as with their parents and family members.
“The Wellness Committee wanted to come up with ideas that would involve the whole family,” said Tiffany Berry, a fourth-grade teacher at Peru and member of the Wellness Committee.
“It’s important for the kids to recognize the importance of being active, but that’s also something we want them to pass on to family members.”
The Wellness Committee first formed three years ago to promote the overall health and wellness of the Intermediate School students, Berry noted.
With funds from an Eat Well/Play Hard grant from the State of New York Health Department, the committee received $2,000 to create a “traveling health bag” that students could bring home and use with their family to create routine family-exercise programs.
“The traveling health bag included family-friendly activities, things the family could do together on the driveway or out in the backyard,” Berry said.
A student could sign the bag out for a period of time, return it to school, and then another student could bring it home to share with family,” she explained.