What’s in store for our newest program in 2015? Check out which schools will be participating and what they will be learning in this month’s Program Spotlight.
It’s hard to believe in only six weeks, nearly 400 kids will begin training for our Waunakee triathlon and Spring Mud Run! This year, we’ve added three new sites to our Exercise to Achievement after-school program, with hopes for an additional 2-3 sites during the summer.
What is Exercise to Achievement?
Exercise to Achievement (or E2A as we affectionately abbreviate it) is an eight week after-school program designed to help students learn the basics of swimming, biking, and running, while instilling healthy habits that can be applied both within and outside the classroom. Students also complete journal entries to set and track progress towards personal goals, as well as reflect on their successes and challenges.
Each week focuses on a particular discipline (swim, bike, or run/strength), and includes a “Word of the Week” and Fitness Theme. We believe by combining physical, mental, and emotional health, we can help create a community of children and young adults who succeed in school while developing healthy habits that will last a lifetime.
At the end of the program, students will complete either our spring triathlon or spring mud run as a culmination of all they have accomplished throughout the training.
Which schools are hosting a site?
This spring, we have nine sites across the Madison and Middleton/Cross Plains school district:
Northside Elementary – Middleton
West Middleton Elementary – Middleton
Wright Middle School – MMSD
Sherman Middle School – MMSD
Lake View Elementary – MMSD
Lindbergh Elementary – MMSD
Mendota Elementary – MMSD
Sandburg Elementary – MMSD
Van Hise Elementary – MMSD
What do the students learn?
Over eight weeks, students receive three lessons of bike safety and handling, as well as skills for riding during a triathlon and navigating a transition area. They receive three lessons of basic water safety and swimming skills, as many of our students do not have any experience with swimming. Some even have a great fear of water, so this program is an important piece of establishing water safety skills that could one day save their lives. Finally, there are five running and obstacle course lessons that are incorporated throughout the program which challenge students to gradually improve their cardiovascular and muscular strength and endurance.
As mentioned above, the program also includes mental/emotional curriculum that is discussion, reflection, and play-based. For example, the first week of E2A has a Fitness Theme of preparation, and the word of the week is confidence. In these lessons, students set goals for themselves for the duration of the program, and discuss how confidence plays a role in being healthy and active in the pursuit of their goals.
This year, we are making improvements to our program by adding in nutritional basics and handouts, thanks to our friends at Dean & St. Mary’s! Students will learn about the importance of drinking water vs. sugar-sweetened beverages, making healthy choices with what is around us, and more! We are excited to add in this critical third component of health.
How can I get involved?
- VOLUNTEER: do you have time during the week days between 2:30-4:30pm? If so, we would love to have you as an assistant coach at one of our sites. Coaches usually are responsible for helping with setup, takedown, stretching, snack, and encouraging students during practices. Our teachers who are serving as head coaches would be so grateful! Email Katie@tri4schools.org if you are interested.
- DONATE: This is the most expensive program of the year for us, costing over $35,000. Your gifts help us with materials for our students (journals, swim caps, goggles, water bottles) as well as healthy snacks, transportation to/from swim lessons, and provide scholarships for kids who cannot afford to participate in the program. You can also help with donating items themselves, such as healthy snacks. If you would like to see our wish list of items, please contact us.