It’s so great to see schools encouraging physical education and teaching students the importance of getting active. We love to share amazing success stories of schools raising the bar for physical education. Laura Spradlin, a teacher at La Quinta Middle School in La Quinta, California, was happy to share her story and encourage others to join the movement!
La Quinta Middle School keeps kids active with a school wide focus on health and fitness. Principal Janet Seto says, “La Quinta Middle School’s Fitness School of Champions has transformed our school’s culture. The wellness/fitness theme permeates the entire school program, from curriculum in the classroom to activities throughout the school day. It includes nutrition awareness, the need for physical movement, and incorporates the “fun” component. All students and staff participate in healthy choices, and it is a known fact that if you are well, all things in life are better.”
For the past two years, La Quinta Middle School has been a Let’s Move! Active School award winner and participant. While they are busy every day with organized sports and activities, their signature event consists of four school-wide 2K runs. The P.E. department prepares the students weekly with practice runs, endurance training, and lessons on proper running techniques. Then once a quarter throughout the year, the school hosts a special bell schedule which includes a dismissal for all students and staff to “take their mark.” When Principal Seto gives the signal, exuberant 6th graders lead the way, followed by coordinated staggered starts with the 7th graders and then 8th grades.
The races include a “Race to the Start,” “Turkey Trot,” “Run for Your Heart,” and “Color Run Finish.” Top finishers for each race receive medals, while all students celebrate their participation with a wellness lunch time activities event at the conclusion of each race. For the LQMS students, the payoff is tremendous. They know they are doing something good for their bodies and overall well being.
La Quinta Middle School also encourages physical activity with their Fuel Up to Play 60 team. Karissa Gonzales from the school newsletter shares a bit about this team:
The LQMS Fuel Up to Play 60 team have been busy this year running tournaments during lunch, writing health and fitness articles for the newsletter, and planting and maintaining a school garden. They also helped with many of the activities at the health and fitness fair this past month. Currently, the Fuel Up to Play 60 team is working on a Super bowl game between the top two lunch tournament teams, and then will be running lunch time soccer intramurals. As usual, we are always busy during lunch selling healthy smoothies and checking out athletic equipment so that all the Bull-dogs can stay active. Keep playing…60 minutes a day! The Fuel Up to Play 60 team organizes and runs the lunch time intramural tournaments. Our goal is to keep kids active. We do all kinds of sports like football, wiffle ball, basketball, and soccer.
Congratulations La Quinta Middle School students and staff!
For more Active Schools success stories, visit www.ssww.com/blog/tag/lets-move-active-schools
About Let’s Move! Active Schools:
Let’s Move! Active Schools is a sub-initiative of Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! campaign. They announced the 2015 National Award recipients which included 525 U.S. schools, recognized for their efforts of increasing physical activity for their students and creating an Active School environment. They are truly School Champions, making a difference in the world of physical education. S&S Worldwide joined Let’s Move! Active Schools to support their goal that Active Kids Do Better.
About the Author:
Laura Spradlin is a 6th grade English Language Arts and Journalism teacher at La Quinta Middle School in La Quinta, California. Laura Spradlin has been a teacher for 31 years, 23 at the high school level and a middle school teacher at La Quinta Middle School for the past eight years. She has always been an advocate for athletics, including 20 years of coaching sports and most recently serving as her school’s Wellness Director and Sports Coordinator. Ms. Spradlin is proud of the recognition her school has earned including California Department of Education Healthy Kids School, Fuel Up to Play 60 Touchdown School, Alliance for a Healthier Generation Bronze Award School, and Let’s Move Active School Award. Principal Seto shared, “Ms. Spradlin continually goes out of her way to promote the school’s wellness/fitness/nutrition program.”