There was something for everyone at the 2012 Cherry Creek Schools Family Wellness Summit, held April 14 at Grandview High School.
“A little fitness, a little fun, a little excitement,” said Mike Howells, as he and his seven-year-old son Keegan checked out the Physical Wellness area in the gym. They had fun playing “Rally Ball” on XBox Kinect, while other kids and parents tried snowshoeing, golfing and other physical challenges.
“There are so many fun things for the kids,” smiled Tawny Pattermann, as she watched her five-year-old son Teagan, and his five-year-old cousin, Carter Steine, try kickboxing.
Many kids had tested their health and wellness knowledge by playing “It’s Your Health,” hosted by summit sponsor Kaiser Permanente. “We do many events, and it is so nice to have such a well-organized and diverse event to be a part of,” said Mark Pergola, Senior Actor/Educator with Kaiser Permanente Educational Theater Programs. “It really seems to be growing!”
Once participants worked up an appetite, many headed to the Nutritional Wellness area in the cafeteria for the “Taste of Cherry Creek,” a chance to sample the delicious and nutritious food served in Cherry Creek Schools. They enjoyed fruit and yogurt smoothies, orange chicken and brown rice, fish tacos and sandwiches made out of whole grain bread shaped like goldfish. During their healthy snack break, the diners were treated to active entertainment by several student groups, including the Belleview Elementary Ballroom Dancers, the Overland High School Hip Hop Team, and the Buffalo Jumpers, a jump rope team from Buffalo Trail Elementary.
One of the most popular summit stops was the 9Health Fair, where nearly 500 people, including Jerry Moore and his wife, took advantage of free and low-cost health screenings.
“It’s a quick and inexpensive way to receive tests that are important to our health,” said Moore. “This is a big deal. It’s important to maintain your wellbeing as you age.”
High school seniors who are learning about careers in medicine through the Littleton Health Sciences Center gained valuable experience as they helped with height, weight and blood pressure screenings.
Jim Goddard, CEO of the 9Health Fair, said the 9Health Fair and Family Wellness Summit are a perfect combination. “This is a great example of how to involve the community in a multi-faceted approach to health and wellbeing," said Goddard. “"It is very impressive to see the amount of support for wellness programming shown by the Cherry Creek School District. This was a model we will use for involving other school districts in engaging their communities in 9Health Fair's annual celebration of wellness."
The Cherry Creek School District has a Comprehensive Wellness Strategy which focuses on the physical, psychological and environmental well-being of students, staff, families and community. Research shows that healthy students – those who eat right, exercise and get enough rest – do better academically, so the activities and information presented at the summit support what goes on in Cherry Creek classrooms every day.
The summit is hosted by the Cherry Creek School District and funded through these generous sponsors: the Community Asset Project (CAP), College America, Health One Centennial Medical Plaza, Kaiser Permanente, Parker Adventist Hospital and the YMCA.
“We couldn’t host an event of this magnitude, attended by nearly 2,000 people, without the support of our sponsors, local business vendors, and dozens of volunteers, including students, parents, staff and community members,” said Janise McNally, Wellness Coordinator for Cherry Creek Schools. “It is wonderful to be part of a community that so values the health and wellbeing of children and adults alike.”
For more information about wellness in the Cherry Creek School District, visit http://www.cherrycreekschools.org/Wellness/Pages/default.aspx.