The Utah Recreation and Parks Association has honored Butler Elementary School and the Cottonwood Heights Recreation Center with its 2010 Outstanding Program Award for launching a cooperative initiative that promotes wellness at an early age.
Steve Carpenter, Executive Director of Utah Recreation and Parks Association, presented the award to officials of the Canyons District school and the recreation center during a meeting of the Canyons Board of Education on Tuesday, May 4.
“This really exemplifies what can be achieved when groups work together,” said Carpenter, while presenting plaques to former Butler Elementary Principal Edy McGee, who was at the school when the program was instituted, and Mike Peterson, director of Cottonwood Heights Recreation Center. “I congratulate them on their work and partnership and what they are doing for our young people.”
The program is called “Fit Kids,” an effort aimed at increasing childhood fitness and encouraging the use of the recreation center. Thanks to donations from the community collected by the School Community Council, for the past two years children in all grades have walked to the center to participate in interactive games.
First- through third-graders participate in two 15 minute games. Fourth- through sixth-graders play three 15-minute games. Officials say the activities are for everyone no one is allowed to sit out. The warm up for the physical activity is the walk to the center; the cool down is the walk back. In all, students walk 1.26 miles.
College interns hired by the recreation center administer the program and executive activities with the Butler students. In return, the college students, who all aim toward employment in the recreation industry, gain hands-on programming skills.
Sponsorships and grants are being sought to help expand and develop the program. Cottonwood Heights Recreation Center is looking into the possibility of expanding the concept into a pilot program for other schools in the community.