Working out a School Fitness Program
"It's in direct response to the 'epidemics' of obesity and diabetes
in American youth," says Mary Bentley, chair of the Department
of Health Promotion and Human Movement. She's talking about two
new, school-based initiatives in which HPHM faculty and students
are working with children in the Ithaca City School District to
increase physical activity and promote nutritious food choices.
Thanks to a collaborative teacher education initiative with local
schools and a one-year, $188,000 PEP (Physical Education for Progress)
grant from the U.S. Department of Education in collaboration with
the Department of Health, several IC health education, physical
education, and community health classes are working with students
at Boynton and DeWitt Middle Schools and Ithaca High School to
assess their fitness and advise them on making healthy food choices.
ICSD's Jane Holcomb Bryant '78, M.S. '92, works with
a student on fitness assessment.
First, as an outgrowth of the All-College Teacher
Education Committee work, the school is working with Boynton
faculty to create professional
development programs tailored to the middle school. The School
of H&S will join in some of this work; faculty members Gary
Fountain in English education and Zenon Wasyliw in history are
working with HPHM to develop curricular and faculty research initiatives
in collaboration with Boynton teachers. Students from six HPHM
courses have field classes at Boynton; nearly 100 students in total
will be involved in working to influence middle school students'
nutritional choices through assignments, projects, and joint activities.
"The idea is to promote an increase in physical activity and fitness
levels, particularly targeting sixth-graders," says Bentley. "The
Ithaca students will conduct health and fitness assessments and
discuss the results with individual students. We're creating other
activities to support students in adopting new health behavior.
We're also adding a component on harassment this semester. Our
mission [in health, physical, and community health education] is
to follow best practices in disease prevention and health promotion.
Primary to this goal is fostering lifelong fitness and nutritional
choices that will lead to a longer and better-quality life."
The PEP grant grew from an initial collaboration
between IC faculty members Deb Wuest and Kim Fontana and the
Ithaca schools' physical
education teacher Jane Holcomb Bryant '78, M.S. '92, director of
athletics and physical health education Bill Bryant '76, [former
Boynton principal] Craig Evans '84, and HPHM chair Mary Bentley.
The grant was written by Wuest and Holcomb Bryant, who were professor
and student when Holcomb Bryant was a student at Ithaca College
many years ago. The grant funds a comprehensive program called
PACE (Physical Activity in Community Education), which, says Bentley, "is
to assess students' current levels of health and fitness and provide
the instruction and skill development necessary to develop and
maintain lifelong behaviors that promote health. It will eventually
be a K-12 program using pedometers in elementary school and the
tri-fit (battery of health and fitness assessments) in middle school
and high school."
All the HPHM faculty are now involved in the
program, and Ithaca College students from many classes will be
working in it as well. "It's
truly interdisciplinary," says Bentley. "For example, family and
consumer science teachers from the schools are working with IC
professors, who are working with middle school math teachers. It
integrates the curricula, both here at IC and down in local schools.
It's a great example of best practices at work."
Golfing Despite Disability
Golf inspires passion. And having a disability
shouldn't preclude anyone from playing the game, as participants
in a fall semester
HPHM-cosponsored "Learn to Golf" clinic learned. Assistant professor
Christine Hopple's Adapted Physical Education and Sport class cohosted
the clinic for individuals with disabilities, interested professionals,
and students from the Departments of HPHM and Therapeutic Recreation
and Leisure Services. The all-day workshop attracted more than
30 IC students from both majors, as well as rehabilitation professionals,
people involved in developing prosthetic devices, and clients from
both IC's interdisciplinary Center for Life Skills and Rehabilitation
Center in New Hartford, New York. Cosponsors were the Department
of Therapeutic Recreation and Leisure Services and Access to Independence
of Cortland County, an independent living resource center.
Led by Bob Buck, executive director of the Eastern Amputee Golf
Association (EAGA), the workshop introduced participants to the
sport of adapted golf. Buck demonstrated a variety of adaptive
equipment available to individuals with disabilities and gave participants
the chance to try this equipment out on the grass.