Only Northeast Elementary and Middle Schools have walking tracks within the Lauderdale County School District, and Northeast Middle also features a state-of-the-art fitness room for 7th and 8th graders a well as faculty. These two features allow the students to meet their required 150 hours of physical education each week by getting exposed to everything that is need to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Teri Edwards, K-4 Curriculum and District Testing Director, tells us, "I think that the important thing is that we teach them what living healthy looks like because it's that knowledge that will help them make good choices and better decisions later in life."
Teaching students about living an active lifestyle is only part of the equation, but offering facilities in which students can stay active in a fun way helps to drive home that point.
Miranda Dunnigan, a 7th grader, enjoys the school's fitness room. "It's really cool. Like we come in here probably once or twice a week, and we'll just work out."
Anna Brown, also a 7th grader, tells us why it's important to stay healthy. "If you like to play sports or something, you wouldn't be as strong as the other people, and it's really important to stay healthy because you can live a better lifestyle."
While many of the students may see the walking track or fitness room as a way to simply have more fun in school, these two facilities are leading to healthier students.
Debbie Chance, a physical education teacher at the school, has seen the improvement in her students. "I also see great gains in the fitness level of our students. They have better endurance; they're more flexible, and we don't have the numbers of extreme obese children that we've had in the past years."
Chance also credits the Project Fit and walking track at Northeast Elementary for helping kids get active younger.