Education is by no means the only tenet by which a society thrives, but it is one of the highest endeavors in any culture. Instilling proper values in children and inculcating optimal lifestyle habits in youths of all ages is essential for the continued hope of a bright future.

Though no educational institution, public nor private, is without its share of shortcomings and imperfections, most of them seek to teach students a variety of lessons and provide helpful information on a wide array of topics, from history or math to life management and team sports. Physical education has long been a staple of primary and secondary schools, allowing kids to exercise as a healthy release of all their energy, within a structured environment.

Still, some schools aim higher and attempt to go above and beyond this status quo. One of these is Kennedy Community School in St. Joseph, Minnesota, according to a recent article from The News Leaders.

Story author Dennis Dalman highlighted the school’s new exercise program, writing:

By the end of January, many students at Kennedy Community School were feeling healthier and happier. 

That’s because of the school’s annual month-long nutrition and fitness effort dubbed Fitness Fever. The program started Jan. 1 and lasted through the month, although fitness efforts persist throughout the year.

Physical-education teacher Barb Gabler explained how the program works. All students are encouraged to eat five different fruits and vegetables per day. In classrooms, teachers often interrupt lessons so that students can get up and do some stretching exercises. Active play, at least an hour a day, is encouraged. On one night in January, there is Fitness Fever Family Night, and this time the theme was Surfing into Fitness with a Beach Boys’ beach theme. At the 90-minute fun night, parents, students and others danced up a storm and participated in all sorts of other fun physical activities.

Gabler, who is one of the school’s three physical education teachers, started the annual fitness program way back in 1998. Throughout the years, she had students compile a list of alternative activities other than “screen time” (time spent gazing at TVs and electronic gizmos).

Among the answers on the students’ logs were:

“I read a book to my little brother (or little sister).” “I cleaned my room.”

“I played with my Legos.”

“I danced to music in my room.”

“I played a board game with my family.”

With so many heart-warming stories of community engagement across the nation, perhaps none are more encouraging than those telling of children learning to become active and conscientious about their individual health.

To read Dalman’s full writeup, click here.