On Jan. 6, Sarah Bush Lincoln Healthy Communities staff visited Riddle Elementary School in Mattoon to kick off the Healthy Heroes Challenge as part of the Healthy Kids program. Every other year, the Healthy Heroes issue a challenge to a local elementary school. Students log their individual miles walked or ran each month.
Riddle Elementary School has been challenged to reach 27,280 miles from January to April. If the students reach their goal, Riddle Elementary School receives a traverse rock-climbing wall for its gymnasium, sponsored by WomenConnected, a women’s giving circle within the Sarah Bush Lincoln Health Foundation that supports SBL programs and services.
“Riddle Elementary School is the largest school in which we have presented the Healthy Heroes Challenge, and I know the students can do it. The goals are set to be fun, reachable, and appropriate for the kids. This is a great way to encourage goal setting and healthy habits,” Laura Bollan, Healthy Communities director, said.
Healthy Heroes were created to help relate the 5-2-1-Almost None message to children. 5-2-1-Almost None refers to eating five fruits and vegetables a day, no more than two hours of screen time each day, at least one hour of exercise each day, and none (or almost zero) sugary drinks and snacks.
“Riddle Elementary School was chosen this year because we are always looking for students and schools who are already making healthy choices. When we heard about the Run Club at Riddle, we wanted to learn more and felt like the students would be up to the challenge,” said Bollan.
Students have the opportunity to win prizes each month if they reach their goals. Kindergarteners through second graders must complete 10 miles a month, while third graders through fifth graders are required to complete 12 miles a month. Students will wear pedometers on Wednesdays and Thursdays and during physical education class. The SBL-sponsored prizes include water bottles, frisbees, jump ropes, and beach balls.
“Our school is very excited! I like seeing students set goals as they work together to tackle this challenge. This challenge will impact these students for the rest of their lives by helping them create healthy habits at an early age,” Brett Poorman, Riddle Elementary School physical education teacher, remarked.
Previous schools who have met the challenge and earned rock walls include: Arcola Elementary, Neoga Elementary, Stew Stras Elementary, and Shelbyville’s Main Street Elementary
For more information on the Healthy Kids program or Healthy Heroes or SBL Healthy Communities, please call 217-345-6828 or visit www.sarahbush.org/healthycommunities.