The End Of The Year Means It’s Time To Play

Students at the Oskaloosa Elementary enjoyed an event lead by HyVee Kids Fit Wednesday morning at the Lacey Stadium.

Oskaloosa, Iowa – Keeping young people focused through those final days of any school year can be a real challenge. On Wednesday morning, the students of Oskaloosa Elementary School had the opportunity to move and burn some of those jitters off.

Approximately 1,000 students and nearly 200 staff made the short walk from the elementary building to Lacey Stadium, where they were greeted by the Hy-Vee KidsFit team, which included personal trainers who helped motivate the young group to keep moving.

Oskaloosa Hy-Vee store dietitian Taylor Grgurich was also there. Grgurich spoke about foods that are good for you, foods that are fine to have on occasion, and foods and drinks that are best only as a special treat.

Clete Hjorth, the store manager for the Oskaloosa Hy-Vee, spoke about the opportunity to bring the program to Oskaloosa Elementary. “Health and wellness is one of the big initiatives with Hy-Vee, and what we like to do is get young people started with healthy habits,” said Hjorth.

Hjorth said that promoting healthy living and providing important information on nutrition is but one of the reasons Hy-Vee has a dietitian on staff in Oskaloosa. They hope to help build those good eating habits at a young age.

“By starting with kids at a really young age, we can teach them about those activities. We can teach them about healthy eating,” said Hjorth.

It’s easy to forget that Oskaloosa is home to the largest elementary school in the State of Iowa, and playing host to 1,000 or more students could potentially be overwhelming.

The size of the school was something HyVee already had experience with as their program has been brought to other districts, where over 1300 students from an entire area would participate.

Hjorth said that the size of the school and the amount of kids are something the program is used to. “It’s really impressive when you can see over 1,100 kids out on the football field all exercising together.”

Hy-Vee, Mahaska Health Partnership, and Mahaska joined together to buy the student body T-shirts to commemorate the day.

“I’m a big believer in supporting the community that does so much to support us,” added Hjorth.

Oskaloosa Hy-Vee was recently given the retail business of the year award, about which Hjorth says, “It’s really rewarding to be honored. The biggest thing about it is, I’m just very fortunate to have a store so full of wonderful, hard-working people that do a lot of great things.”

On a personal level for Hjorth, saying hi to his son and being able to watch him smile and interact with his friends and classmates was a highlight of his day.

Mike Dursky, the Building Principal for Oskaloosa Elementary, explained that the morning’s activity is a good culminating event for the school year and also that partnering with local businesses like HyVee, Mahaska, and Mahaska Health Partnership help the school provide more instruction on wellness and health.

Dursky added that the community continues to move to a more health focused lifestyle, which includes things like the community trail, Blue Zones, and the additional wellness and physical fitness in the schools. “It’s part of that continual mission. You have one body, take care of it.”

Neighbors helping neighbors is how the day’s partnership happened. Hjorth and Dursky are neighbors. Hjorth spoke about the program that HyVee was offering, and Dursky replied, “We would be game to do that.”

Dursky thanked Mahaska County Emergency Management and the Oskaloosa Police Department, “Just like always, they totally came through for me and helped out.”

Editing by Ginger Allsup

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Posted by on May 18 2017. Filed under Local News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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