Linda Wheeler, the Librarian at Beverly Park Elementary School showed us she has more than books on her mind these days! Last fall, she asked the Foundation (through the Excel Grant application process) for a small amount of money to help her students learn that exercise can be fun!
Here’s what she said in her application: “Can you imagine being able to have an alternative to recess, run laps and earn a jingle bell for each lap you take! Our students are eagerly waiting for the two weeks in December when they can participate in our annual Jingle Bell Run.”
The students are very eager to earn the bells and can’t wait to get the bells at the end of the two weeks. Many students beg to keep the program going throughout the school year. Students learn that exercise is important in their lives and fun. During the two weeks of the Jingle Bell Run our behavior referrals are reduced dramatically and the overall school attendance is up. The December attendance has the highest percent of students at school with the lowest percentage of referrals since we started the program. The students are eager to participate just for those shiny jingle bells. Healthy minds, healthy hearts!
And the result? According to Linda, “the grant made a big difference to the students at Beverly Park. In reviewing our behavior reports for the year, we believe that the reduced percentage of behavior referrals is by having students involved in a healthy activity of running laps for jingle bells. This year we had competitions between grade levels on who could run the most laps.