The event invited local elementary and middle school students and their families to promote fitness and better educate kids and families on eating healthy. It is the third such event hosted in the local school district over the past two months. Family Fitness Nights were also hosted at Cold Springs Middle School and Billinghurst Middle School in north and west Reno respectively.
“The goal is to get the kids to practice physical fitness and learn healthy eating habits,” Event organizer and Shaw PE teacher Tracy Wolf said before adding that studies show one in three Nevada children is obese. “These events have been great. Hopefully they learn about eating right and the kids always have a blast.”
Wolf said nearly 10,000 fliers were sent home with district children, promoting the three events. Close to 500 family members have participated. Each child that takes part receives a gift bag with a water bottle, back pack and information on health and wellness. Additionally, each event has awarded prizes. Wednesday night’s event gave away a bike and Nintendo Wii Fit games among other things.
The Family Fitness Nights were funded by a grant through the Washoe County Health Division. The events were the brainchild of the Washoe County School District’s K-8 Wellness Division, a committee Wolf chairs.
“It’s nice to see the kids out with their whole families,” Shaw Principal Gina Leonard said. “It’s nice to have a free night for the families where they don’t need to bring anything. It’s a special night with a good cause where they can just come out and be entertained for a couple hours.”
Jason Klonicke is a PE teacher at Spanish Springs High School. He brought his 9-year-old daughter Kailey and 6-year-old son Christian to Wednesday night’s festivities.
“It’s very important for kids, as early as possible, to learn how to be healthy and that different people can help. Fitness can be fun, not a chore.”
Even some of the district’s high level administration members came out to the suburban Sparks school to celebrate the work of Wolf and her Family Fitness Night organizers. WCSD Coordinator of Athletics and Activities Ken Cass was in attendance to show his support and check out the fun.
“Kids’ fitness and wellness starts with families,” he said. “What’s great about this is it gets kids and their families together. You talk about that old saying, ‘It takes a village to raise a child,” and it does. Parents and families are integral. That’s what makes this such a great thing.”