The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

September 19, 2013

Get fit

The Register-Herald

— There are no shortages of healthy initiatives these days and that’s a good thing considering the obesity problem in our nation.

Any program that is pushing a healthy agenda can only help us all realize that if we don’t change our lifestyles, then we aren’t going to live very long.

That’s why we should all take a moment to recognize the efforts at Stratton Elementary School to promote healthier lifestyles for its students but also to energize students to be enthusiastic about education.

In their latest venture, Stratton has been awarded a $100,000 state-of-the-art fitness center from a grant that is awarded to National Champion schools. The center features 26 brand new fitness machines that will offer cardio and weight resistance exercising and two XBox Connects.

But this new fitness center is only another step for Stratton to get students excited and interested in being healthier.

Already, Stratton conducts its “jammin’ minute” of exercise every day, installed a community garden to promote fresh foods, and was hosting an after-school exercise program. Even Stratton’s faculty is often found working out in the school’s gym.

Now students and faculty alike will have a place to workout and exercise that they may not otherwise have access to, and we could not be more thrilled.

Healthier students could mean better results in the classroom, which could mean a bright future for our children.

We can only hope other schools will start taking notice of Stratton’s programs and begin implementing their own health initiatives.

Stratton’s programs have already proved successful across all fronts, with its students more engaged in education and their own health than ever before. If other schools across the state and nation were to do the same, studies will likely see a spike in healthier students who are performing well in the classroom.

And perhaps other schools have already started. Greenbrier County Schools has already begun some farm-to-table food programs. And two other schools in the state, one in War in McDowell County, the other in Wheeling, are receiving the same fitness setup as Stratton.

We certainly hope that all schools begin thinking about and implementing their own programs to create a healthier student population.

With the kinds of results on the table being displayed at Stratton Elementary, it would only make sense to begin spreading these programs to every school in hopes to increase the chances of success of our nation’s children.