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School Holds JAM Session

Exercise program gets kids moving

September 30, 2013
By DANIEL DORSCH - Staff Writer , The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register

Students at Ritchie Elementary School in South Wheeling joined millions of others across the nation last week by taking a Just-A-Minute workout to promote fitness while also trying to break the participation record.

"This is our second year participating," Shannon Gessler, teacher at Ritchie Elementary School said after students from head start to second grade finished their exercises. "West Virginia actually has the highest number of participating students. We're trying to beat the record from last year."

Gessler said 264 students filled the school's gymnasium divided into two groups.

Article Photos

Photo by Daniel Dorsch
Students at Ritchie Elementary School take part in the second annual Just-A-Minute Day last week in the school gymnasium.

To prepare, Gessler said the minute-long workouts have been incorporated into the daily learning schedule at the school.

"It helps to get them up and moving so they're not just sitting at their desks all day," Gessler said. "We try to do all we can to increase physical activity."

Students and teachers alike took part in the exercise program

Even though the exercises in the JAM program are brief, school administrators said they help teach students the importance of an active lifestyle.

"We want our students to be healthy and happy," Ritchie Elementary School Principal John Jorden said. "It's important for our students to be physically active and this is a fun way to teach them about fitness."

Superintendent Dianna Vargo emphasized the importance of remaining active to avoid mental stagnation.

"Movement and physical activity throughout the school day inspire students to be more focused," Vargo said after visiting the elementary school to observe the exercise session.

The event was held as part of the National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month.

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