School Challenge Spotlight: Prairie Point Elementary

October 19, 2010

Prairie Point Elementary is making strides in integrating physical activity into the school day!  See a snapshot of what this school accomplished in 2 years of working with Healthy Kids Challenge through the HKC-CIGNA Showcase School Challenge. And these are only the physical activity highlights!

Year 1

  • Increased minutes of motion in 100% of classrooms by 30 minutes per week; a 30% increase over the previous year! Collectively, students are getting an additional 15,000 minutes of activity each week! Some of the steps to this success included:
    • Integrated activity bursts into core curriculum, which increased from 0% to 40% of classrooms every day.
    • School district purchased beach balls and scarves for 100% of classrooms.
    • 100% students, 95% teachers, and 5% parents took a 1-week physical activity challenge. After taking the challenge 55% of participants said they had more physical activity because of the challenge.
    • Walking school bus (one day per week for 8 weeks) participation was 23% students, 3% parents, and 1% staff. After the 8 week program, 50% reported they had more physical activity because of the program.
  • 90% of 3rd – 5th grade teachers reported improved student focus in their classrooms since implementing physical activity changes.
  • 50% more staff are participating in wellness activities since becoming a Showcase School.
  • 100% of staff and students participated in new bi-monthly walks. More than 2,250 miles have been walked collectively!
  • 200% increase in the number of events that send healthy messages or include physical activity in just this school year!

“HKC has achieved many things and its importance is obvious! It was an eye opening experience on how the little things can really add up to a lot. I like the module that talks about instead of doing something new, keep what exists and make it better.”  CIGNA Showcase School, Prairie Point Elementary, Kansas City, MO, Andrea Best, Health Room Aide

Year 2

School-wide minutes of motion were added last year, but administration challenged the staff to add even more physical activity throughout the school day this year.  Guidance and ideas from Healthy Kids Challenge, faculty meetings, and an on-site presentation helped staff meet the challenge this year.  Here is a sampling of how movement was integrated throughout the school environment:

  • More movement to and from classes:  students could be seen hopping to lunch, walking backwards to their classroom, or doing hand work on their way to computer lab.
  • More movement during class:  every classroom teacher energized students with quick brain breaks
  • More movement as a reward for good behavior:  an extra 20 -minute recess on Fridays for 192 students in 2 grade levels
  • More movement during special events: A Spirit assembly held all-school relays and a Holiday assembly challenged students and staff in snowman-building and reindeer races.

By the end of the year, the increased physical movement outside of P.E. resulted in 100% of the 24 classrooms having added brain breaks,

23 (96%) integrated activity into curriculum,

8 (33%) added minutes of recess, and

23 (96%) increased movement during recess. 

That is approximately 20 minutes more physical activity for all 506 students weekly as compared to last year. 

The total minutes added per student for the entire year:  720!

“The entire school – 506 students in 24 classrooms – doubled the minutes of motion compared to last year.  Teachers love the Jammin’ Minutes I send out once a week with classroom ideas for brain breaks and more.  Staff enjoy the interaction with the students and are seeing the benefits of it.”  CIGNA Showcase School, Prairie Point Elementary, Kansas City, MO, Andrea Best, Health Room Aide

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2 Responses to “School Challenge Spotlight: Prairie Point Elementary”

  1. Julie Says:

    How impressive! Our struggle is getting everyone on board. You really need that for outcomes like this. How do you win over those people who are reluctant? Getting so much accomplished in 2 years was amazing at this school!


    • This school had done a lot of work on their own prior to working with Healthy Kids Challenge. The key in our distance assistance partnership with them over 2 years was their readiness to make healthy changes in a focus area chosen by their team. They truly have a team of individuals and not just one individual making changes. That is one best practice that we train schools how to implement through our distance assistance which you can learn more about at http://www.healthykidschallenge.com. And feel free to ask more questions! Glad to hear from you!


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