Teachers and staff members in Manassas City Public Schools are working to promote health and wellness.
Last week, about 70 school division employees attended a health symposium hosted by the school division and the Prince William Hospital Foundation.
“We’re trying get a jumpstart on nutrition and fitness,” said Sandy Thompson, supervisor of administrative services.
Representatives from each of the city’s eight schools’ wellness teams and members of the school health advisory board shared details of their school’s wellness plans and learned new strategies for promoting exercise and good nutrition.
“Each school has come up with a plan for what they’re doing to promote wellness,” Thompson said.
At some schools teachers have joined weight-loss programs to set examples for their students. At others, students and teachers regularly participate in physical activities to stay fit.
Next year, the school division plans to pilot a variety of new fitness programs, Thompson sad
One of them, “QUICK FIT,” marketed as “complete 15-minute, no sweat workout,” was demonstrated during the health symposium.
Richard Bradley, a nationally recognized fitness expert, led the audience in the exercise routine and spoke about fitness, Thompson said.
Recent studies show that just 15 minutes of exercise a day can make children less likely to become obese.
Next year, “QUICK FIT” will be tested out in some city schools, Thompson said.
Also during the health symposium, school officials unveiled a new Web site designed to provide school staff members, students and their families with information on health and wellness.
The Web site, manassas.k12.va.us/weems/manufit/manuindex.html, contains information on nutrition, fitness, healthy habits and mental wellness.
The ultimate goal of the school division’s new wellness initiatives is to help keep students healthy so they can focus on learning, Thompson said.
“It’s so important to educate the whole child. We want them to be successful not just academically,” she said. “We want to make sure we have healthy kids.”