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Rams and CHARACTERplus Name 2013 Character Fitness Model Schools

Posted Apr 4, 2013

The St. Louis Rams and CHARACTERplus, an initiative of the Cooperating School Districts, today announced this year’s Character Fitness Model Schools. Ladue Middle School in the Ladue School District, Point Elementary School in the Mehlville School District and Woerther Elementary School in the Rockwood School District were selected as the 2013 Character Fitness Model Schools.

The Model Schools program recognizes schools that have effectively implemented character fitness throughout the school year in a way that engages students, staff and the school community as a whole. Character fitness combines health and nutrition efforts, character development and physical exercise. Schools that have achieved a mastery rating in those categories, as determined by a panel of judges, are recognized with the honor of being named a Model School.

Ladue, Point and Woerther were selected as Model Schools based on the number and quality of initiatives in which they participated this year, and how the programs collectively involved the student body. In addition, the schools were judged on staff involvement in teaching and modeling character fitness, curricular connections within physical education, health and core classes, community outreach and service, and the outcomes of the various programs and efforts.

This year’s Model Schools have also embraced a culture of character fitness by participating in national and regional initiatives that improve their physical activity and service. Such programs include the President’s Fitness Challenge, PLAY 60, GO! St. Louis Read, Right & Run Marathon, Jump Rope For Heart and Hoops For Heart, National Walk/Bike to School, in addition to others. They encourage individual goal setting and help students track improvement through Fitness Gram and heart rate monitors.

Teachers from core and encore curricular areas regularly incorporate five-minute activity breaks for their students in class and before tests. They also attend yoga or fitness classes after school and organize walks in support of worthy causes.

Examples of efforts from Point include a two-week dance unit created by the music teacher to help fund diabetes awareness. Parents also got involved by organizing a Father-Daughter Dance and a Mother-Son bowling event.

In science classes at Ladue, students study heart rates in the lab, calculate acceleration rates on rollerblades, test water samples from a local creek and explore physics with a cardboard boat regatta. In communication arts, students research sugar effects, analyze food labels and put grammar rules to movement with Conjunction Junction. The parents of Ladue students also helped establish a “Girls on the Run” program at the school.

Woerther students take part in “Bowling for Bucks,” a program in which they practice bowling, shagging pins, counting money and scorekeeping. And second-graders test their geography skills in the United States Relays.

All three Model Schools will receive a banner to highlight their accomplishment during an on-site celebration. Each school will also receive tickets to a 2013 Rams game and an invitation to co-present at the Fall 2013 launch of Character Fitness. In addition, their ideas will be shared with all educators through the St. Louis Rams and CHARACTERplus websites.

The St. Louis Rams and CHARACTERplus partnered to create the Character Fitness Model Schools program in 2010, recognizing the connection between the principles of character education and fitness. The program offers the opportunity to benefit students and schools alike in a joint effort to create foundations for a healthy life.

CHARACTERplus is a community partner of the St. Louis Rams, helping the organization to instill character and healthy lifestyle choices in youth. CHARACTERplus currently involves more than 74 member school districts in Missouri and southern Illinois, including 30,000 teachers serving in public, private and charter schools who reach more than 340,000 students.

For more information on Character Fitness Model Schools and CHARACTERplus, please visit www.characterplus.org.