All fifth-graders in Cherry Creek Schools and Aurora Public Schools will soon have the chance to follow in the footsteps of the first-ever 5th Gear Kids.
The kick-off for this year’s 5th Gear Kids program will be held from 5-8 p.m. on Friday, September 27, at Family Sports Center, located at 6901 S. Peoria Street, Centennial, CO 80112. Fifth-graders and their families can enjoy a fun evening of free activities, including laser tag, miniature golf, bumper cars, the rock climbing wall, the eXerGame Zone and the heated golf driving range! They can also sample free healthy food from partner restaurants.
Last year, nearly 7,000 fifth-graders had the chance to participate in this life-changing program which teaches kids about energy balance - how to balance fun physical activity with a healthy diet – to promote energy and good health. One of the first 5th Gear Kids was Grayson Fast, then a fifth-grader at Summit Elementary, now a sixth-grader at Horizon Community Middle School.
“I really liked that we got to do lots of different activities, the parties, the points,” said Grayson, referring to the many activities held at her school and at community locations throughout the year.
5th Gear Kids can use their 5th Gear Kids card to earn points and prizes and get discounts at participating restaurants and recreation facilities. Their families can also use the card for a 10% discount on all Private Selection foods at King Soopers.
Grayson’s interest in the 5th Gear Kids program rubbed off on her whole family; mom Eron, dad Robert, and younger sister Amelia.
“The girls wanted to eat more apples and grapes instead of processed snack foods. They’d even pay attention to food labels and the NuVal scores when we went grocery shopping at King Soopers,” said Eron Fast. “Now we don’t drink as much soda or eat as much fast food, and instead of watching a movie, we walk the dog, go fishing or walk around the museum.”
In fact, the Fasts decided to get a family membership to the Trails Recreation Center instead of getting a new flat screen TV!
Grayson said that as a 5th Gear Kid, she had fun and learned a lot. “It’s important to balance your diet with exercise so you stay healthy. I feel great!” she added.
With 27% of Colorado children considered overweight or obese, 5th Gear Kids is a united mission between schools, parents and businesses to reverse the obesity trend.
“The program focuses on teaching students about energy balance, the direct relationship between a body’s activity level and the amount of calories required to keep that body healthy, energized and ready to learn” said Dr. Megan Mistler-Jackson, the 5th Gear Kids Grant Coordinator for Cherry Creek Schools. “As emerging leaders, the fifth-graders can serve as healthy examples and role models to younger children and adults alike, in their schools, homes and communities.”
The 5th Gear Kids program is privately funded by the Colorado Health Foundation and sponsored by the University of Colorado in collaboration with Children’s Hospital Colorado, Cherry Creek Schools and Aurora Public Schools. For more information about the program, visit www.5thgearkids.org.
Posted September 16, 2013.