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Well and good at CCA

Clear Creek Amana (CCA) Middle School students get down and dance in a break-out session demonstrating the fitness dance craze, Zumba, led by Brandi Vercande. The activity was one of 20 activity choices kids could pick during CCA’s third annual Spring into Wellness Day in May. (photo by Lori Lindner)

TIFFIN– It was a healthy way to wrap up the school year.
All 450 students at Clear Creek Amana (CCA) Middle School had a chance to get moving, get fit and have fun at the school’s third annual Spring into Wellness Day Wednesday, May 6. The event, organized by Principal Brad Fox and Physical Education Teacher Ben Robison, brings in guest speakers and presenters who share and demonstrate a variety of activities, sports, games and other information that gets kids active and encourages healthy life choices. The annual wellness day is funded collaboratively by the Carol M. White Physical Education Program (PEP) Grant initiative, Live Healthy Iowa’s “Go the Distance Day,” and the district’s physical education department.
This year, the day kicked off with a keynote address from former Hawkeye football player Chuck Long, followed by a school-wide 3K walk.
“A special note of gratitude goes to Chuck Long,” said Robison after the event. “His speech was awesome.”
Break-out sessions included 20 stations led by guest presenters, which allowed kids to try a number of new or familiar fun activities. For example, the University of Iowa rowing coach brought training machines for kids to try, instructors from Farrell’s Extreme Bodyshaping led a kickboxing routine, and Dave Conrads of the University of Iowa WILD program gave kids an appreciation of bird watching.
“There is no way we could run a successful event without these wonderful people and businesses donating their time and services,” said Robison.
The purpose is to give kids a taste of active hobbies, sports and pursuits they might continue as they get older, hopefully developing those pursuits into lifelong healthy choices.
“I love being able to provide opportunities for our kids to experience things that they normally would not get to,” said Robison. “Hopefully, it triggers some interest in things that will keep them moving, active and healthy beyond school.”
Seventh grader Jackson Hamer picked bird watching as one of those experiences that he had never tried before.
“It’s fun,” Hamer said of the CCA Wellness Day. He also played disc golf. “I like it because it gets us outside and we get to try new things. So we might be inspired to try it when we get older.”
Robison said the CCA administration is a big booster of the district’s wellness programs.
“Brad Fox, our principal, has also been incredibly supportive of our mission,” said Robison. “I am very appreciative to have administrators who are so supportive of health and physical education. Research has proven to us that healthy, fit, and active kids learn better. We are so happy to be able to provide a vehicle for our students to strive to be healthier and more active.”