Wellness Program that Incorporates Fitness and Math in Iowa School

by: Nichole Gunn December 23, 2010

Incentive programs, including wellness programs, usually cost money. This is one of the reasons some businesses have been reluctant to initiate one, or have had to cancel ones already in place. But, there are some wellness programs that are extremely cost effective and produce excellent results.

One particular wellness program was implemented by Dubuque Lutheran School in Iowa. The innovative program has students walking, skipping, and even running certain distances each day. The activity takes place the beginning of each recess period.

Keeping the program fresh, Jennifer Cartee, a first grade teacher, took the program up a notch by including distance incentives.

Students walk in a circle within a designated area. For each full circle, the student receives a popsicle stick – 12 sticks is equivalent to one mile. At the end of the session, each class counts their sticks for a total miles walked per class.

Jennifer Klinge, a fourth grade teacher discussed the program with THOnline.com, “It's an enjoyable form of exercise … It has math and physical education together." She added, “"It's a real-life application of math."

Another unique twist to the program is allowing students to choose ‘goal destinations.’ Figuring out the number of miles it will take to reach a particular destination, the class calculates the total number of miles the class as a whole will have to walk to reach their goal. Math is also used to tally up the miles as they go along.

The administration and staff are thrilled at the success of the program and “its developers plan to expand it into next year.”