USING HAPPY FEET, HEALTHY FOOD
This is the first of a series. Some of the other author-illustrator sections have not been created yet. Please read this page and then check back for more! I hope to have this whole section completed by the end of August.
Happy Feet, Healthy Food, Your Child's First Journal of Exercise and Healthy Eating|
by Carol Goodrow
USE IT AT CLUB
It was February 2004 and I received my preview copies of Happy Feet. I was EXCITED, but my first thought was I can't open the books. What if I find a mistake?" I quickly put that worry out of my mind. I leafed through the pages and they looked good. I WANTED to use Happy Feet, Healthy Food with kids. I had copies to give each of the schoolchildren in my class, but I wanted more children to use the book. So I approached my school principal about an after-school club. I wrote a quick proposal integrating my running with the curriculum.
One of the applicants for my first session was visually impaired. We had the book translated into braille. The child became my running buddy at club. Now as a teen he still is. We ran the Manchester Road Race together this year. Even though he's no longer a Happy Feet kid, but I gave him a club tee to wear for his Manchester training.
The proposal was accepted. Now I needed sponsorship. I immediately made a phone call to runner Mark Summers, a local business man, and he said that wonderful 3 letter word, "YES!". He introduced me to a CEO of another local business, cyclist Kevin Bouley, who also quickly jumped in to help. I planned on running the club is 15 kids signed up, but by the time the applications came back, I had over 100 kids and a waiting list. I HAD A CLUB! I named the club "Miles of Math" the first year, but I used my Happy Feet book. I still have that club. Only the name has been changed to match my book. It's now called the Happy Feet, Healthy Food Kids' Club
I have used this book at after-school club every spring and fall since that first session. Using it at club is a great way to integrate health, fitness, reading, writing, math, and art with RUNNING. That is a lot! My club was opened to 1st and 2nd grade students, and the sessions always filled up quickly. Next year, I may open it up to 3rd or 4th graders from another school in our district. How do we use the book? Every way we can. We read the Fun Feet Sections chorally. One child reads a sentence and all the others echo it. We talk about the recipes and nutrition. And we journal after our running session.
A well-kept Happy Feet book from my first "Miles of Math" club.
- I read the Reason to Hike. "Strength" You will build strong leg and ankle muscles.
- A kid (fun-feet reader) reads the Fun Feet Session. (I always ask for volunteer readers. "Who would like to be the fun-feet reader today?")
The kid reads, "Walk in the woods." Then all the other kids read in unison, "WALK IN THE WOODS."
The fun-feet reader reads, "Climb a hill or mountain." Then all the other kids read in unison, "CLIMB A HILL OR MOUNTAIN."
This choral reading includes everyone no matter the reading level. It's a practice I still use today - years later.
We used special coated paper for the book. Kids can use pencils, pens, crayons, markers, or colored pencils when recording their healthy habits. Some turn their journals into works of art. Others, well - we love them anyway!
USE IT AT SCHOOL LIKE JOANNE MCCORMICK
Some communities have used this book to supplement their health curriculum at school. This year the schools in Litchfield, CT used it with all of the 3rd to 6th graders. Joanne McCormick created a full-curricular program and even rewarded students with toe-tokens for filling out their journals at home.
I have thoroughly enjoyed using your book, Happy Feet, Healthy Food this year in Health Class.
Bi-monthly, when I met with each student in class, I reminded and encouraged and cajoled them into recording in them.
In February, March, April, and May, each grade level met on a day and did a movement activity for 10 minutes, followed by an apple, and encouragement to use the book. We will be having Field Day on June 16th, and will be enjoying popsicles. At Field Day, each student will receive a pair of neon shoelaces, to encourage movement all summer long. Our PTO covered the cost of the apples, the popsicles, and the shoelaces. I was also supported by my principal to allow all these activities to take place.
For 4 weeks of entries in the book, each student got a plastic "foot" that I had purchased from Fitness Finders and a photocopied "foot" to decorate and then I hung them on the walls around the school. They stretched from the Nurse's office down the hallway of the 4th grade level - 100 hanging feet. That means that there were 400 weeks recorded by students and staff.
Kids can write one word, one sentence, or a whole paragraph in the physical activity log space. I encourage them to fill it in even if they didn't exercise. Note that there is a book blotter in the picture. I provide them if you purchase the book directly from me. It just keeps the book a bit nicer.
MORE FROM JOANNE
At our last meeting of health classes this week, I again asked them to not have the books be "dust collectors", but to use them to record all their activities and fun foods they eat over the summer. I encouraged them to record the lobsters they eat in Maine on their travels, the oranges in Florida, the blueberries in Maine, whatever and wherever they are. I also encouraged them to record their moving activities throughout the summer.
I have been personally encouraged and have run 700+ miles since I began using your book in January. I took it to Rome to show my granddaughter, and my little 4 year old artist did several pictures in the "artist's corner" for me to have....
BE AFFILIATED WITH THE YMCA
Roxanne Menapace from Michigan has been using this in summer camps, during school, after-school, you name it. She has programs affiliated with the YMCA that are grant-funded. She has many creative ways of using the books. Roxanne has started many Happy Feet clubs in Michigan. This year she will be a P.E. and health teacher for the first time. Congratulations to Roxanne. She credits the Happy Feet clubs, but we know that it is Roxanne herself who has the drive and inspiration.
The time tracker is fun and functional. We want kids to exercise an hour each day and this makes it easy. Each square represents 10 minutes. Kids can fill in the squares with Xs or other symbols. Stickers work great, too. Here are a few examples. The Saturday squares are filled in with letters to stand for the different exercises. Kids can make up their own codes.
Here's another fun section to fill in and it's easy to reach this goal - 9 healthy foods each week. Of course we want kids to eat more than 9 but we don't want them to be obsessive about it, so every day they can fill in one or two healthy foods they've eaten that day.
HOME SCHOOL IT
Andrew Barber is 17 years old now, but he grew up with this book. He was home-schooled in California. Happy Feet was part of his P.E. curriculum. Andrew is still a runner, will stay fit for life, and knows the joys of healthy eating. Andrew used the Happy Feet book for his schoolwork 5 years ago. Today he says, "Happy Feet's creative way of approaching physical fitness with fun graphics and activity ideas made me take hold of the information and literally "run with it."
FOR THE FAMILY
Many families buy a copy for each of their children and journal every night about their exercise. Some families have a "shared copy" and they take turns journaling.
AS A PEDIATRICIAN
By Dr. Janet Graeve
I'm a pediatrician and have used this journal with my patients successfully for over 2 years now. Kids and whole families are healthier because of this great tool. Our most successful story is a teen (senior in high school) who has lost about 110 pounds. She is on her third volume, having completed every single page in two full books (the books have 365 sections, 112 pages for daily entry). Get this for your kids AND for yourself!
FOR MOST ANY AGE
When people ask me what "who" the book is for, I say anyone from 6 to 16 AND UP. And I feel that way about all of the books I have written. Some parents tell me that they have used the book for children as young as 3 years of age. They've done the journaling for the children, writing in their exercise. They've put stickers on the time-tracker and healthy food 9-square sections.
A CLASSROOM PROJECT
Last year a teacher in Mountain View, California supplied each of her students with a book. Since the journaling is quick, it's a great book to take out after recess, to record exercise, to read together, and to help the kids wind down.
MAKE IT A HOSPITALITY GIFT
School Nutrition Association, Executive Director, Barbara Belmont, presents a "Happy Feet, Healthy Food" book to a principal in China as a gift of goodwill. Visit the schoolnutrition.org Web site for help in building your wellness policy.
Sharlene Wong, of this same association, invited me to speak on this book at the School Nutrition National Convention in Los Angeles one summer. She worked with her school lunch program to provide the 5th graders in Wallingford with these texts.
RAFFLE PRIZES FOR FUN RUNS
Some events have purchased books and given them away as raffle prizes at fun runs.
The log page has a Writer and Artist's Corner. Anything goes. Some ideas -drawings, mottoes, or goals. This is one of my favorite parts. Kids can be so creative.
No one can use a book unless they find out about it. This book was lucky to get some press. It was in the Runner's World magazine (a small blurb) and Lori Adams of Runner's World mentioned it MANY times in the RW newsletter. I met Lori in Peachtree City, Georgia. I had just become the Kids Running Editor and Amby Burfoot sent me to a conference! Lori is sweet, has a contagious giggle as well as a serious side, and she is also a watercolorist. Her paintings are museum quality and painstakingly created to perfection. She is a disciplined driven athlete, organized person, and has somewhat conservative ideas. She has successfully completed the IRONMAN Triathlon in Hawaii. Quite a contrast to my muddy nature-trail hiking with my school kids, backyard romps with my dog, casual jogging, spontaneous impulsive creativity, and liberal views. But we both love dogs, running, and art, and most importantly we are both caring people so IT WAS A MATCH. I spent much of the time in Peachtree City hatching ideas of what I thought I'd be able to accomplish. I wanted to create, write, and GROW. To me the sky was the limit. Lori listened and we became good friends.
The book also had local press: Hartford Courant, Journal Inquirer, and The Ride Magazine. Mentions of it seemed to pop up everywhere on the Internet. My Happy Feet club was also getting a lot of press and the book was part of that package. This book got off to a good start.
Kids follow the rules that they set personally or the rules set by their parents, teachers, or club leaders.
Happy Feet, Healthy Food |
The Treasure of Health and Happiness | Kids Running: Have Fun, Get Faster & Go Farther
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Happy Feet, Healthy Food, Your Child's First Journal of Exercise & Healthy Eating
The Treasure of Health and Happiness
Kids Running: Have Fun, Get Faster & Go Farther