Originally published April 8, 2022 by Hometown Stations.

By Stacey Myers Cook

It has been the mission of Activate Allen County to get people moving and Friday they recognized area schools that are getting kids active, not only physically but also mentally.

Activate along with Mercy Health, the Mental Health Recovery Services Board of Allen Auglaize and Hardin Counties, and the Mental Health, Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Board of Putnam County awarded more than $25,000 to 11 schools for programs that are helping children to be both physically and emotionally fit.

Jill Stubbs, Guidance Counselor, and Physical Fitness educator at Cridersville Elementary School explains, “This week we’re finishing up our boot camp and the kids absolutely enjoy doing the obstacle course and pushing tires and flipping tires and jump ropes and so. I think they enjoy being active, I think now kids just are distracted with tablets and they don’t realize they can have just as much fun outside doing things.”

Cridersville third-grader Noah Reichelderfer talks about what he likes at recess, “A good day would be do all of them at once and just keep running until I get tired enough. (Reporter question - Do you realize that’s good for you?) Noah nodded Yes.

Josh Inglis, a Science teacher at Lima West Middle School explains their plan, “It’s the whole student. It’s the physical aspect but also the mental and emotional aspect of the day that helps a kid get through it. So we definitely focused on that aspect of it. We went through some fidgets with the students for the classroom sets. Some lighting options to dim and more soothing and cooling lighting, some seating options. So, things to really help kids focus or redirect or just center themselves when we have some emotional moments.”

This year's Activated School Challenge impacted more than 3,000 students.

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