Youngsters who are undergoing treatment at Children’s Hospital have a new selection of books and crafts to enjoy, thanks to 5th Gear Kids from Cherry Creek Schools and Aurora Public Schools. Fifth graders who participated in the 5th Gear Kids program this year donated over $2,000 worth of children’s books and arts and crafts supplies to the hospital during a visit and tour on May 15. The items were purchased with points the 5th Gear Kids earned, then donated to Children’s Hospital.
“I thought the people here might have needed something to make them happy,” Aaryn Mathias, a fifth grader and 5th Gear Kid from Fox Hollow Elementary who donated 2,000 of the 18,000 points he earned this year, doing things like Tae Kwon Do, soccer and swimming.
Megan Hintz, a 5th Gear Kid from Polton Elementary, earned many of her points by eating more healthy foods and joining Polton’s Running Club. She and her mom are both fans of the 5th Gear Kids program, which teaches fifth graders about energy balance - how to balance fun physical activity with a healthy diet – to promote energy and good health.
“It’s a good program to encourage kids to be active and make healthy choices,” said Karen Hintz.
5th Gear Kids earn points for making healthy food choices and participating in healthy activities, then they can redeem their points for prizes. This year, 5th Gear Kids earned more than 12 million total points, and donated over 1 million of those points to purchase the books and crafts for Children’s Hospital.
“The fact that these fifth graders learned about energy balance through 5th Gear Kids and earned points by applying that knowledge throughout the year by engaging in healthy lifestyle behaviors is pretty incredible,” said Deb Federspiel, manager of the Healthy Kids Program at the Children’s Health Advocacy Institute of Children’s Hospital. “When you add in the fact that this particular group of students decided to donate their rewards to kids who might be going through something really challenging -- well, that’s just spectacular!”
The 5th Gear Kids program is privately funded by the Colorado Health Foundation and sponsored by the University of Colorado Anschutz Health and Wellness Center in collaboration with Children’s Hospital Colorado, Cherry Creek Schools and Aurora Public Schools. For more information about the program, visit www.5thgearkids.org.
Posted May 20, 2014.