United We Sweat Field Day Empowers Students to Live Healthy

9.19.18 – Multiple community organizations came together Tuesday afternoon on the campus of Midview Schools to promote ongoing health initiatives with a field day event. 
The fourth annual United We Sweat Field Day included nearly 1,000 elementary and middle school students from Midview Schools taking part in fitness stations and learning wellness activities that can be completed at home with their families.
This year’s event featured multiple partnerships and collaborations coming together to benefit the health of the community. Partners representing United We Sweat and the Common VIEW Community Collaborative - both initiatives of United Way of Greater Lorain County that are focused on promoting a healthier lifestyle - were in attendance and have been instrumental in supporting ongoing projects in the area.
“The goal of Field Day is for the kids to come away making smart, healthy choices like not using tobacco, staying away from drugs, staying hydrated and getting enough sleep. But most importantly for them to be active and share the lesson with their friends and families that working out doesn’t have to be strenuous, it’s all about being active and making it fun,” said Lisa Augustine, professor and program coordinator of HPER at Lorain County Community College.
United We Sweat is a partnership between United Way, LCCC, the French Creek Family YMCA, Lorain County Metro Parks, Lorain County Public Health and University Hospitals Avon Health Center. The initiative aims to ensure that everyone in Lorain County has access to quality physical activities no matter their location, income, age or skill level by providing a diverse calendar of free fitness activities throughout the county.
The partners of United We Sweat led the stations during the Field Day event and were joined by volunteers from the Midview Schools and Ross Environmental Services. The Ross Foundation and Lorain County Community College HPER Programs were event sponsors.
Stations included inflatables working on agility and speed, hula hoop games working on trust, communication and leadership, and fitness and wellness activities including planks, pushups, yoga and mindfulness. 
Students also learned about the dangers of tobacco use and drinking and driving, the benefits of eating fresh fruits and vegetables and staying hydrated, and how to identify and alleviate stress.
“It’s remarkable to see this event continue to grow each year into what is now a signature event for us and United We Sweat,” said United Way of Greater Lorain County marketing and development director Ryan Aroney. “Field Day is another example of the amazing things that can happen through the power of collaboration, and through the Common VIEW Community Collaborative and the partnership at Midview, we have a structure in place that will empower the students to take what they learned today and implement those lessons into their everyday lives.”
Common VIEW - which stands for Vision for Improved Education and Wellness - is a United Way Community Collaborative led by Lorain County Public Health that focuses on improving the mental and physical health of middle-grade learners in the Midview, Clearview and Firelands school districts. The collaborative was launched in the fall of 2014 and includes ten partners providing wrap-around services within school buildings that address the connection between healthy behaviors and academic achievement.
Initiatives implemented through the Common VIEW collaborative include the use of yoga, stability balls, and desk cycles to improve attention in the classroom, more healthy food options in the cafeteria, and additional mental health resources.
“The great thing about Field Day is it’s more than a one-day event. It really brings together a lot of community partners and collaboratives such as Common VIEW and reinforces our messaging on making healthy choices and being a leader. Because the students are exposed to these types of messages every single day, they share it with their friends and family and are able to spread the message outside of the school,” said Kat Solove, health education specialist with the Lorain County Public Health and one of the coordinators of the Common VIEW Community Collaborative.