News from the Eliot about teachers and students piloting a new walking kit for middle-schoolers:
Teachers and seventh graders from Boston’s Eliot K-8 School in the North End are piloting a new, free kit designed to get students up and moving.
The 20-page walking kit, created by clinicians at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, aims to motivate youngsters to start a walking program with a member of their own family and to track their progress over time.
“We know that physical fitness is a vital part of a well-rounded education,” said Principal Traci Walker-Griffith. “We are thrilled that Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center is collaborating with our teachers and students on such an important issue. We are also excited that we are able to fold the important educational aspects of this program into our curriculum.”
The kit teaches students about the many physical and mental proven health benefits of walking. It gives them a diary to keep track of their steps, vocabulary words, a walking quiz, and a chart of key muscles used when walking. It also talks about how to calculate heart rates and evaluate the level of intensity of the exercise.
“We know how important exercise is in controlling high blood pressure, diabetes and weight gain, especially in young Americans,” says Dr. Loryn Feinberg at BIDMC’s CardioVascular Institute, presenter of the Walking Club kit. “The earlier we make exercise like walking a habit, the less likely we’ll have health problems as we get older.”
The school has just over thirty seventh graders participating in the walking club. The lessons are taught as part of the science curriculum. Students have been given two pedometers each—one for themselves and one for a family member—to help them tally their steps.
“The Eliot School is very excited to be partnering with Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in an effort to kickoff a Walking Club which will insure our students and families engage with health and wellness initiatives available within our urban location,” says classroom teacher Amelia Tonkin, Med Boston Connects/New Balance Foundation Health and Wellness Coordinator. “Through educating our seventh grade students about the benefits of walking and how to use pedometers, we look forward to utilizing this partnership to keep the Eliot Community healthy in an enjoyable way.”
The kit is free to any school and can be printed out at www.bidmc.org/walking. As part of the pilot, educators at the Eliot School will provide feedback on the materials, and changes will be made for future use.