9.24.19 – Multiple community organizations came together Tuesday afternoon on the campus of Midview Schools to promote ongoing health initiatives with a field day event.
The fifth 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.
“I love seeing the energy and excitement of all these children as they were smiling, fist pumping and high fiving throughout the day,” said Lisa Augustine, professor and program coordinator of HPER at Lorain County Community College. “This event is important because health and fitness needs to be reinvigorated every single year. For example, the hot topic this year is the dangers of vaping because of how much that’s been in the news. If we can teach these kids one way that they can enhance their overall health and fitness it will build a strong foundation for them to be healthy adults.”
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 parent and staff volunteers from the Midview Schools and employees of Ross Environmental Services. Ross Environmental Services and Lorain County Community College HPER Programs were event sponsors.
“This was another great day at Midview. The kids had a great time and it’s always good to get the youth of Lorain County involved in physical activity,” said UH Avon Health Center fitness center general manager Brad Calabrese, who facilitated relay races on the football field throughout the event. “United We Sweat is all about promoting active lifestyles in the community. With this event in particular, we start them young to show kids how activity can be fun so they’ll want to sustain it throughout their life.”
Additional 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.
“Field Day has grown into one of the signature events for United We Sweat and we hope this can bring awareness to the free opportunites that are available throughout Lorain County at unitedwesweat.org,” said United Way of Greater Lorain County marketing and engagement director Ryan Aroney. “This event is another great example of amazing things happening through collaboration. And because of the structures in place from our Common VIEW Community Collaborative, we can empower the students to take the lessons learned today, implement them into their everyday lives, and then lead by example for their friends and family.”
Common VIEW - which stands for Vision for Improved Education and Wellness - is one of the 11 Community Collaboratives powered by United Way of Greater Lorain County and is led by Lorain County Public Health. Common VIEW focuses on improving the mental and physical health of middle school students in the Midview, Clearview and Firelands school districts. The collaborative was launched in the fall of 2014 and includes nine 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 educational components of today’s event on nutrition and healthy behaviors are just as impactful as physical activity when you’re focused on the whole child like we are with Common VIEW,” said Kat Solove, health education specialist with the Lorain County Public Health and one of the coordinators of the Common VIEW Community Collaborative. “Common VIEW is focused on increasing access and expanding knowledge of healthy behaviors. Field Day is a fun and interactive way for us to help establish these behaviors early for the students.”