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Grant will help promote
lifelong fitness for students

by Kim Fickett
Landmark editor

A grant received by the Platte City Middle School will help promote fitness to students well into the future.

The $2,000 after-school physical education grant is one of 32 grants offered by the State of Missouri.

"The purpose of this physical education grant is to promote lifetime fitness that each student can maintain well into adulthood," said Jeff Humburg, physical education teacher for the Platte City Middle School.

The grant will be used to purchase equipment that will help monitor cardiovascular fitness and improve physical performance, in preparation of this year's 4-mile Kansas City Trolley Run on April 28. The Trolley Run is the largest four mile run in the United States.

The after-school program involving seventh and eighth grade students in the district will begin in the spring of 2002. The students will take part in a six week running program that will end with each participating student running in the Trolley Run. Humburg said he hopes to see approximately 70 students participate in this year's run. This number of students would represent 25 percent of the seventh and eighth grade classes in the district.

"It is our hope to use the grant to promote lifetime physical fitness through the introduction of running. Each student who takes part in the six week program will be preparing for a lifetime of cardiovascular fitness," said Humburg. "This can be compared to other teachers preparing students for a lifetime of learning. By focusing on health benefits, rather than competitive performance criteria, students are more likely to develop and maintain lifelong physical fitness."

The students will participate in two to five mile road runs, ladder and timed runs, and fitness stations for 1 1/2 hours, four times per week for six weeks.

Money raised from this year's Trolley Run will benefit the Children's Center for the Visually Impaired (CCVI). This year the students' goal for CCVI is $1,000.