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Torrington Public Schools Receives Eight Thousand Dollar Grant To Activate a Healthy Initiative for Young Students.

POSTED September 27, 2014
BY Timothy W. Gaffney
Twitter: @TimothyGaffney


TORRINGTON: The Torrington Public Schools received over $8,000 in grant funding to help activate a positive physical activity model across the district’s elementary schools.

By engaging school, family and community partners in FUN physical activity, using Rod Dixon’s KiDSMARATHON®  format and philosophy, students will be empowered  by the reward of “Winning is Finishing and Finishing is Winning™”.   

The program was funded with a $4,023 grant from the Community Foundation of Northwest Connecticut and a matching $4,023 grant from Fit Together Northwest CT. Fit Together Northwest CT was formed in 2011, by concerned community organizations and individuals including: Charlotte Hungerford Hospital, Torrington Area Health District, United Way and YMCA.

Its focus is to identify policy changes and environmental improvements in the cities of Torrington and Winsted that will help make the healthy choice the easy choice. Fit Together is working with school and city officials to create a healthier more vibrant community. 

The student goals of Rod Dixon’s KiDSMARATHON program include: experiencing fun, healthy running practice; learning to train for an event; working as part of a running community to achieve running goals; developing regular physical activity routines into their daily lifestyle; and working with adult mentors to learn how running can be part of a life-long plan to live better and longer. 

According to the State Depart of Education report, only 29% of Torrington’s 4th graders were able to meet the standard on all four components of the state physical fitness test in the 2010-11 school year compared to the state’s average of 51% that were able to pass.  

In Torrington, this equates to approximately 284 students out of an average cohort size of 400.  Furthermore, in the same year 10th grade students that were able to meet the standard on all four components of the test were 45% continuing to be under the state average of 51% 10th graders.

The CT Association of Schools (CAS) http://cas.casciac.org/ has sponsored the KiDSMARATHON program for all public and parochial schools in the state since 2009. 

Rod Dixon’s KiDSMARATHON® Lap Tracker is an ed-tech innovation for active school recess and physical education. Students get their own ID card, while their teachers and mentors use scanners, and school-based software to crunch the numbers. Reports track progress toward goals that students set for themselves.

The system is designed to be affordable and accessible for all students, so schools can apply educational enrichment funds for the greatest physical and academic benefit. 

Along with tracking student miles, children will be invited to participate in the CAS KiDSMARATHON developed by Rod Dixon, Olympic Medalist and winner of the 1983 New York City Marathon. 

This initiative is designed as an 8 to 10 week in-school, physical activity training program, with weekly distances accumulating to 25 miles during that period.  This creates a FUN fitness experience with fellow students and engages family members as well. 

The equipment offers a motivational tool for teachers and gives students the reward and recognition for their “FIT TOGETHER” achievements.  Each elementary school administers the program in a customized format that FITS IN with a priority to educate the “whole child”.  

Anyone interested in volunteering to join the Fit Together NWCT initiative should contact Greg Brisco through the Northwestern Connecticut YMCA at 860-489-3133 or gbrisco@nwcty.org. www.FitTogetherNWCT.org  

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