Fair encourages physical activity for students

PLYMOUTH — Washington Elementary School students learned a few things about a balanced life Friday at the school’s annual health fair. Beyond just nutrition and exercise, the students also picked up some tips on fire safety — courtesy of volunteers from the Plymouth Fire Department — seatbelt use, and teeth brushing.
“We are just encouraging activity,” said physical education teacher Mike Kershner. “So many kids these days just go home and watch TV.”
Kershner added that he was surprised he had to teach students outdoor games such as kickball since they didn’t already know how to play.
Friday, Kershner and other helpers set up an outdoor obstacle course for the students that involved hula hoops, plastic cones, and chalked-off areas. Kershner also mentioned that he appreciates the Fire and EMS personnel for attending the event and letting students interact with them outside of a crisis situation.
“It’s good for (students) to see that the firefighters are good people who are trying to keep them safe,” said Kershner.
Plymouth firefighters helped students learn about fire safety by teaching them how to escape from a smoky house.
Inside the school gym, different booths were set up by Crossroads Academy health career students. School nurse Mary Eiler commented that she was impressed by the scope of Crossroads students’ displays, and their ability to teach the concepts to different age groups.
“They are able to go from a fourth grader and then change and teach a kindergartner,” said Eiler.
Eiler also noted a new element to the health fair this year, Marshall County Health Department health educator Sandy Read.
“(Read) is teaching the students what you can do to stay active during commercial breaks when you are watching TV,” said Eiler, gesturing toward Read and a small group of energetic students doing jumping jacks.
Throughout the day, all of the students at Washington had a chance to visit the health fair.
“We couldn’t do this without the support of our principal and our parent volunteers,” noted Eiler.