Holley staff dusts the competition to win district Fitness Challenge

Sean C. Morgan

Holley Elementary School was the big winner in the School District 55 Fitness Challenge.

“I sent a challenge out to all the staff members in November,” said Supt. Don Schrader, and each staff competed for “fabulous prizes,” the best of which is a week of duty assignments for the school taken on by Schrader and any volunteers he can rope into it. Those assignments include duties such as monitoring the loading and unloading buses, and recess and lunch.

The school also received new sporting equipment.

“The challenge was to record the amount of movement they have,” Schrader said.

Holley School finished with 30 minutes per day per person.

The Central Office participated too, finishing second with 12.7 minutes per day per person, Schrader said. “We didn’t know they had, like, two or three marathon runners.”

Hawthorne Elementary finished third with 11.5 minutes per day per person.

“Health and wellness should be a goal for all of us,” Schrader said. “Research indicates organizations that set goals to promote fitness not only increase productivity in the workforce but also create a more positive work climate.”

Educators are role models for students, he said, therefore they should be promoting healthy lifestyles.

“Unfortunately, because we care about what we do for our kids, our own health, at times, is neglected,” Schrader said. “Educators work hard for the benefit of students and parents, in many cases, at the expense of their own health. Educator jobs can be very stressful and physically demanding. Many educators can become out of balance and forget to take care of their own bodies.”

So Schrader initiated the challenge, which ran through Jan. 7.

Schrader said a good rule of thumb is 20 to 60 minutes of movement that raises the heart rate each day.

He plans to initiate another challenge, probably next month, he said. The next one will include planned activities, possibly something like co-ed basketball, cross-fit training or a 5K when the weather is warmer.