D303 physical education teachers inspire kids to be healthy

Originally published Dec. 12, 2017 in the Chicago Daily Herald.

By Dave Heun

Physical education teachers Gus Silva and Russell Williams didn’t waste much time getting students at Richmond Elementary School in St. Charles more interested in healthy lifestyles.

When the National Dairy Council and National Football League launched a Fuel Up to Play 60 in-school health and wellness program about seven years ago, Silva and Williams jumped all over it.

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Pumped up: Students progress in revamped P.E.

Originally published Nov. 17, 2017 in The Pantagraph.

BLOOMINGTON — Spencer Harrison, 12, and his classmates kept balloons in the air by using their hands, fingers, feet, thighs, elbows, heads and noses and then learned to pass Gator Balls to each other using volleyball-style passing and catching.

Immediately after the physical education class, Spencer checked his pedometer to find out how many steps he took and to see how much of the class time he spent in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity.

“I think it’s a really neat factor,” Spencer, of Shirley. “I like to check it at the end. I like to get higher numbers than the last time because it means I’m getting more active.”

Spencer Harrison, 12, of Shirley, keeps a balloon in the air during a home school physical education class at the Bloomington-Normal YMCA. YMCA has taken the program to a new level this year as students wear pedometers to count their steps and how much time they spend in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity. Photo by Lewis Marrien, the Pantagraph.

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