Ryan Scott Ottney
PDT Staff Writer
NEW BOSTON — The Tiger’s Den turned into the House of Mouse as elementary students at New Boston School were rewarded Thursday with a Radio Disney Dance Party for completing the “Get Active Get Fit” challenge sponsored by Radio Disney and Anthem BlueCross BlueShield.
More than 180 schools — 69,000 students — participated in the program, but only the top 20 with highest participation in the state got to party with Radio Disney.
To earn their party, the school had to engage K-6 students in at least 20 minutes of physical activity everyday between Oct. 1 and Nov. 26, 2012. Because New Boston School was divided until this year, with grades K-2 at Stanton School and grades 3-6 at Oak School, only Oak students actually participated in the program. After learning they were among the top 20 schools and would have a dance party with Radio Disney, the school had already consolidated in their new building; so the radio station allowed grades K-3 to join the party anyway.
Elementary Physical Education teacher Mary Waugh was the coordinator for the program at New Boston School after being sent the information by the superintendent. She said this was the first year New Boston has participated, and was very excited to have been one of the top 20 schools in the entire state of Ohio.
“It was up the students to make sure they were active for 20 minutes everyday from October to November. We had to have 40 out of 55 days. We did it in three ways, the students had a piece of paper with the dates and they checked off and parents had to sign that they were active for 20 minutes. We monitored recess because we could use that at school, so that was 15 minutes they checked off at school. Then to make sure we helped them get going, they had a physical activities calendar each month and there was different activities they could pick to choose from,” Waugh said.
She said of all the students who participated, only one did not meet their goals.
The students were rewarded with even more physical activity Thursday, enjoying a Radio Disney Dance Party in the gymnasium. The party was led by a dancer/announcer who goes only by the name “Jag,” his dance partners Mandi and Jami and Radio Disney DJ Lee.
“It’s important to keep them moving at this age, and with programs like this, because it gets them excited about it. It’s not just about exercise, it’s about having fun. As long as you’re having fun while you exercise, it’s something that you’ll do for the rest of your life,” Jag said.
He said he has had fun traveling to share the program with schools across Ohio. New Boston teachers also got in on the fun, moving and dancing with the children.
“I thought it was great,” Waugh said. “To get the kids moving for 60 minutes like that; I wish we could do it everyday.”
Elementary Principal Diane Chamberlin said the school looks forward to participating in the “Get Active Get Fit” program again next year and challenges the students to place among the top schools again for another dance party. Jag said the kids at New Boston were energetic and fantastic, and they can’t wait to be back next year.
Radio Disney (1260 AM) is not available on local frequencies, but is accessible on satellite radio and at RadioDisney.com, and also with a Radio Disney app available for smart phones.
Ryan Scott Ottney can be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 287, or firstname.lastname@example.org.