Students at Rexford-Longfellow Elementary have earned a Gold Star, which is displayed outside of the elementary school office.
This Gold Star is the Governor’s Health Award that Longfellow Elementary School earned last year. The star continues to reflect Longfellow School’s commitment to not only teaching students the benefits of exercise and nutritious eating, but also in giving them an opportunity to experience it.
On Friday, Oct. 15, Longfellow’s entire student body and staff participated in their Third Annual Fall Diabetes Wellness Walk.
“It was homecoming week and Orange and Black day, and the sight of 550 plus young Truckers walking together on the PE field was amazing,” said instructor Karen Petermann. The walk was sponsored by the Physical Education Team, the Longfellow Wellness Committee, and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. At the completion of the walk, all participants received a healthy snack: a bottle of water and apple slices.
The walk was the culmination of a two week diabetes education program. Students learned about the two types of diabetes; they learned what role insulin plays in this disease; and they learned the importance of daily exercise and nutritious eating.
Current statistics reported by the Center for Disease Control show that one out of three children born in or since the year 2000 are projected to develop Type 2 diabetes, due to poor lifestyle choices. Type 2 diabetes was a once a disease seen in only adults, but is now common among youth. In addition, the CDC reports that for the first time in history, this generation of children is expected to live a shorter life than their parents.
“We don’t want our kids to be part of those statistics. That’s why our school has all- school wellness walks. That’s why we encourage healthy snacks at school. That’s why classroom teachers build time into their schedule to walk with their classes each week. That’s why our Wellness Committee provides a healthy snack to our entire student body one time each month,” Petermann said. “We are planting the seed; encouraging students to take make healthy decisions regarding exercise and nutrition that will positively affect their lives forever.”
As part of a Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation’s (JDRF) walk, our students and families also had the opportunity to raise money for the JDRF. Money raised is used to fund research and educational programs. When students received a donation for the walk, the donor’s name was printed on a paper sneaker and displayed on the walls by the gym. “Our hallways are covered with sneakers. It’s apparent that diabetes touches many of our families, as the community support for this program is incredible,” stated Petermann. Envelopes are still coming in, so the dollar amount raised by the Longfellow Walk has not been totaled.
The Physical Education Team, The Longfellow Wellness Committee, and the JDRF wish to extend their appreciation for supporting our walk again this year and for supporting the children at Longfellow Elementary School. “Together, we can help to keep their futures bright and healthy,” concluded Petermann.