Fernbank Elementary School
How they Power Up for 30: Fernbank Elementary School’s administration believes that healthy kids learn better. Wellness is part of the strategic improvement plan at the school, and they are always looking for resources to enhance their efforts. All grade levels of students at Fernbank have physical education (PE) and “wiggle time” every day. “Wiggle time” is a 15-minute daily recess period. They also offer a run/walk club and a yoga club in the afternoon. The daily run/walk is held after school for approximately 40 minutes each day. A record of miles completed is kept, and total mileage at the end of the school year is calculated for each participant equating to receiving prizes for completing 50, 100, or 200 miles.
Their story: Fernbank Elementary started Power Up for 30 in June 2014. “I am so happy to see that Georgia is putting an emphasis on physical activity at school. For ten years, Fernbank students have enjoyed PE and wiggle time every day because we believe that physical activity helps them succeed in school. Power Up for 30 is giving schools great ideas and resources to provide kids opportunities to move more during the day,” said Principal Jason Marshall. The students enjoy the opportunities to move more in the learning environment.
“It gives me exercise, it’s fun and I like it,” said William, a rising 2nd grader.
“Wiggle is good because kids need to get their energy out. When kids learn all day long, they need time to be goofy too,” said Hailey, a rising 4th grader .
In addition to providing physical activity opportunities, Fernbank educates students about the importance of making healthy food choices and growing their own food through their Farm to School program. The school started an organic garden in the fall of 2010. The mission of Fernbank’s Farm to School initiative is to improve the health and nutrition knowledge of the school’s community through garden-related curriculum, awareness campaigns and exposure to local and healthy food.
When it is time to harvest, all students taste what they have grown through tasting sessions. Fernbank Elementary School also features Produce of the Month during which they celebrate a fruit or a vegetable that is already served in the cafeteria.
Fernbank’s efforts to promote healthier eating and physical activity for both students and staff have been recognized nationally through receiving the Alliance for a Healthier Generation’s Bronze award and statewide through recognition as Platinum status in the Governor’s SHAPE Honor Roll.