Published: Tue Sep 6, 2005A new program offered by Tennessee Tech University’s health and physical education department could help the nearly 20 percent of all Putnam County students found in a recent study to be at risk for obesity, high blood pressure and other conditions related to physical inactivity.
Applications are being accepted for the new T.E.C.H. Kids Club, a six-week after school program that kicks off on Sept. 12 in TTU’s Memorial Gym, which according to its motto, will help “Teach Every Child a Healthy lifestyle.”
Designed for all children in kindergarten through eighth grade, the program will provide a continually evolving variety of developmentally appropriate physical activities — such as swimming, dance, golf, soccer, tennis, team handball and exercise on virtual game equipment.
“Our goal is to make every child want to be more active — it’s about helping them change their lifestyles to be healthier — so by offering a variety of ever-changing activities, we hope to encourage continued participation,” said Patricia Jordan, chairperson of health and physical education at TTU.
Two-hour sessions from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. on Monday and Wednesday will provide developmentally appropriate activities for children in kindergarten through fourth grade, while such sessions on Tuesday and Thursday will focus on activities for children in fifth through eighth grades.
Students majoring in health and physical education at TTU will lead the sessions, with graduate assistant Josh Boynton in charge and TTU instructor Steve Smith serving as the program’s faculty director.
“Our motivation for starting this program resulted as an outcome of Cookeville Mayor Charles Womack’s Taskforce on Physical Activity that found nearly one in five Putnam County school students to be at risk for health conditions which result from inactivity,” Jordan said.
“Those findings prove that our children have a definite need to be more physically active, so we took the initiative in providing that service by developing this program,” she continued. “At the same time, our university students who volunteer to lead the various sessions will gain valuable experience in their future career field.”
Participants will be selected from both applications and from doctor or P.E. teacher referrals.
The cost of the six-week program is $60 per child, and payment must be made in full at the time of registration. Discounts are given, however, for enrolling multiple family members or for pre-registering for both the fall and spring programs.
For more information about the T.E.C.H. Kids Club, call Boynton or Smith at 931/372-3811 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.