By EMILIE NELSON
Messenger staff writer
DAYTON - Reading and exercise can be fun and rewarding.
Dan Wardell, host of Iowa Public Television’s Kid’s Clubhouse speaks to Southeast Webster-Grand first graders at the Dayton Public Library recently. The students spent one month participating in the network’s Healthy Hike program and earned a visit by Wardell by placing second in the state out of 99 participating schools logging reading and exercise activities.
That is the lesson that students in the Southeast Webster-Grand first-grade classes learned during their participation in Iowa Public Television's "Healthy Hike 2009" program.
The Healthy Hike is a program sponsored by the television station in conjunction with the popular children's program "Kids' Clubhouse" and its host, Dan Wardell.
In each of Iowa's 99 counties, one elementary school class and public library were chosen to participate in the Healthy Hike to encourage reading and exercise during the month of April. In Webster County, SW-G and the Dayton Public library were selected to participate.
"They target one school and library in every county," Ruth Boelman, a first-grade teacher at SW-G said. "Our school just happened to be selected."
As part of their participation in the program, first-graders and their teachers, Boelman and Crystal Wilks, logged all reading and exercise activities that took place at school. At home, students also logged reading and activity time with their parents.
"Students and parents could log anything," said Boelman. "It could be the time spent reading, working and playing outside at home. At school we kept track of reading and time at recess and P.E."
Each week, the hours logged were sent on to Wardell, and at the completion of the month-long program, he made a visit to each of the top 10 finishers in the state.
Out of the 99 participants, SW-G and the Dayton Public Library finished in second place. Wardell came and visited with the students at the library May 19.
"We were absolutely amazed to learn that we were in second place," Boelman said. "We are grateful for our small town library, it keeps the kids and the community reading."
Other area schools selected for the program were Manson Northwest Webster third-graders in Calhoun County, Humboldt third-graders in Humboldt County, West Bend-Mallard second-graders in Palo Alto County, Laurens-Marathon third-graders in Pocahontas County, and East Sac first-graders in Sac County.
Contact Emilie Nelson at (515)573-2141 or firstname.lastname@example.org