World Fit - Changing the Health of Kentucky’s Children

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Already working with 11 middle schools in Fayette County, World Fit is an easy to implement option for our schools to be able to address and respond to ongoing concerns of inactivity of children. Last month, I had the honor of visiting with Micki King, Gold Medal for Women’s Diving (Munich, 1972). Micki’s enthusiasm and passion for helping our children and their families out of the current obesity epidemic is infectious. She was very excited to share that this fall the 12/12 middle schools in Fayette County will be participating and she is ready to start working on elementary schools.

No Time, No Money - Continued pressure on our school districts to keep the focus on academic achievement, and the progressive tightening of the budget belts have in a lot of ways tied the hands of school leaders to be able to address the needs of the “whole child”. Micki believes, as do I, that this is the opportunity for the community to step in. And what is the result of introducing a reasonable amount of physical activity into the child’s day? - children are more relaxed, perform better on other tasks, sleep better at night waking ready for the next day. Long term active children are healthier children. The beauty of World Fit is that it tucks itself nicely in the school day without a lot of transition. No elaborate planning of activities is necessary, children just walk.

For six weeks each spring students walk everyday for about 40 minutes. These minutes are spread out incrementally which is determined by each school. World Fit assigns an Olympian to be on-site at the schools as teacher, mentor, and inspiration. Lots of challenges are integrated, awards, and fast lessons on the importance of addressing health and wellness in our lives for longevity and productivity.

At the conclusion of the six week program, a foundation of health and wellness is left behind for participating schools to get creative and figure out how they will keep the momentum going throughout the rest of the year.

Micki, World Fit, and United Way of the Bluegrass are working to develop the resources necessary to expand World Fit into our entire region. This is a very exciting program that I think might be a game changer for the abysmal health rankings of our state. I’d like Kentucky to be number one - the healthiest state in the nation. I don’t think I’m likely to stop until we get there.

Thank you Micki, World Fit, and all the schools that have started the revolution. I’m super excited to get to participate in helping to take the opportunity to more children in our area!

For more information - worldfit.org

Jon Parker

Vice President, Community Investments