Hether Darnell and Ann Ligocki
“Fit for Life: Inspiring Healthy Choices” is Darnell and Ligocki’s winning program idea that will transform the classroom and schoolyard into a hands-on learning environment where developing healthy lifestyle habits is equally as important as academic achievement. Pedometers will be used as a tool to support and increase daily physical activity. Students will learn self-management skills as they set personal fitness goals. They also will have access to a resource room complete with Dance Dance Revolution equipment, creating additional opportunities for students to be active at school. This creative approach takes technology, which is a draw and a culprit of stationary behavior, and turns it into the solution. The program also extends classroom learning to the outdoors as students help to develop and maintain a raised-bed vegetable garden, with each grade level taking responsibility for one of six beds. Nutritionists, local chefs and the high school culinary department will provide nutrition education, hands-on cooking experiences, and a school-wide cooking competition. Ultimately, Darnell and Ligocki hope to create fun ways for students to increase their awareness of the impact that personal choices have on their health and well-being.