Beecher Hills Elementary School Springs into Health and Wellness

April 4, 2016

Beecher Hills Elementary School is already embracing this year’s warmer weather with an exciting focus on nutrition, gardening and physical activity for its students.

With the help of the Captain Planet Foundation, a Georgia Shape partner organization, Beecher Hills was able to obtain a learning garden. The garden contains vegetables that are served in the school lunchroom, teaching students how to make healthier food choices and see how vegetables are produced from planting to the harvesting process.

As the spring season settles in, seeds of swiss chard, kale, cabbage and other leafy greens are already sprouting in Beecher Hills’ learning garden. 

“Our garden is a great way to let the students see the benefits of eating produce on a daily basis,” said Kristin Horton, physical education teacher at Beecher Hills Elementary School. “We’re able to let them get a hands-on experience with growing the produce and are working with our cafeteria manager to start serving the vegetables that we grow."

“I’ve learned so much from this garden, even for my life outside of work,” she continued. “I’ve realized that my own children are more likely to try healthy foods if I allow them to grow vegetables at our home.”  

Beecher Hills is complementing its nutrition lessons with an increased focus on physical activity through Power Up for 30, Georgia Shape’s program that equips schools with free resources to add an additional 30 minutes of physical activity into existing classroom activities every day.

“We decided to implement Power Up for 30 at our school to get our students and teachers moving throughout the day,” said Horton.

If you take a walk down the colorful hallways of Beecher Hills, you will find students and teachers moving in a variety of creative ways.

Some classes enjoy light stretching and yoga movements while others prefer to pick up the pace by jogging in place to solve math problems or performing kickboxing maneuvers.

“We hope that Power Up for 30 motivates students both in and out of the classroom,” said Crystal Jones, principal. “It would be great to see daily physical activity become a habit for the rest of their lives.”

Most importantly, teachers at Beecher Hills are embracing Power Up for 30 because it helps students concentrate more when it’s time for classwork. This behavior change is reflective of many research studies that find increased physical activity contributes to improved academic performance for students.

Georgia Shape is the Governor’s Childhood Obesity Initiative that unites the state’s academic, government, business and philanthropic communities to improve the health and well-being of Georgia’s youth.

To date, more than 830 Georgia elementary schools have taken the pledge to Power Up for 30. If your school has not yet signed the pledge, visit www.GeorgiaShape.org to learn more. 

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