North Crawford School District held its Second Annual ‘Spring it On!’ healthy lifestyles event on Saturday, April 26, to celebrate the health and wellness efforts made possible by the 2012 award of the U.S. Department of Education’s Carol M. White Physical Education Program (PEP) Grant. North Crawford is currently in year two of this three-year PEP Grant.
‘Spring it On!’ gave the community an opportunity to come and explore not only North Crawford’s Physical Education(PE) and Nutrition programs, but also healthy lifestyle opportunities for fresh, locally grown foods, activities, and events in Crawford County and surrounding areas.
U.S. Representative Ron Kind attended ‘Spring It On!’ as one of the notable speakers. Wisconsin State Senator Jennifer Shilling, attending the event for her second year, remarked that North Crawford’s school garden was comparable to the White House produce gardens. Crawford County Board Chairperson Pete Flesch and Wisconsin State Representative Lee Nerison also joined the day’s celebration.
‘Spring It On!’ included a 5K Walk/Run along North Crawford’s Cross Country course that included the infamous Goat Hill with the track available as an option for those who didn’t want to brave the course. Vernon Memorial Healthcare sponsored free health checks. An outdoor exhibit showcased the greenhouse and raised bed gardens, and a nutritious lunch using fresh, local food was prepared by Chef Monique Hooker for the second year in a row.
The event also included a PEP Grant Equipment Showcase to provide participants with hands-on experience with the amazing new PE equipment that has been helping North Crawford to further develop the district’s PE program. Some of the activities highlighted were the iDance, Polar Cardio GX system, outdoor fitness challenge course, an elementary interactive experience, and the newly installed climbing walls. Everlast Climbing traverse and top rope climbing walls were one of the major PEP Grant purchases during the 2013-2014 school year.
The climbing walls were installed to provide the students with an alternative physical challenge and an alternative choice for physical activity, which can lead to becoming a lifelong skill. They provide a level playing field for team building, cooperation, communication, and trust activities. The walls also work to help develop decision making, goal setting, problem solving, mental imaging, and leadership skills and are a strong tool for developing self-confidence, perseverance, courage and positive risk taking. Climbing contributes to physical, social, cognitive, and emotional growth of the students. It enhances, strength, endurance, balance, coordination and flexibility.
The traverse climbing wall, in the elementary PE program, is a lateral route climbing wall, which is eight feet tall. It provides the student with the ability to get confortable with the hand holds and the feeling of what it is like being on the wall. It gives them the chance to try different climbing techniques and skills. The traverse rock wall also builds the framework for the safety protocols that are necessary for the top rope climbing wall. The rock walls were made available for students and families to experience.
North Crawford School District owes much of the ‘Spring It On!’ event’s success to its PEP Grant partner, Vernon Memorial Healthcare and its other contributors including but not limited to Organic Valley, Driftless Organics, Pepsi of LaCrosse, Monique’s Got2HavPie pie crust, Star Valley Flower Farm, and finally to the North Crawford staff and student volunteers.