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Movband helps kids focus on fitness
Movband helps kids focus on fitness
By SALI McSHERRY
By day three of a 21-day Movband challenge at Chagrin Falls schools, kindergartener Ella and first-grader Ava Latore had traveled more than 40 miles by foot.
The ultimate goal was 125 miles and they both surpassed that mark by more than 35 miles as of Oct. 24, the last day of the challenge.
Conceived by former Chagrin Falls teacher, mother and fitness instructor Michelle Squires, and developed by her husband, Blake Squires, and Keith Latore, all of Chagrin Falls, the Movband is a convergence of the latest accelerometer technology into a kid-friendly, comfortable wristband available in a variety of colors, Mr. Latore said.
Movband has partnered with Chagrin schools and donated 2,500 Movbands, valued at $19.99 each, to all students, teachers and administrators in the district as part of a pilot program to promote health and wellness.
Mr. Latore described the band as accurate, stylish, durable, water resistant and affordable. It's not cumbersome like the standard pedometer, he said, and it not only tracks daily steps and lifetime mileage, but serves as a watch.
Movbands, 600 of which have been sold to the Chicago Bulls, is a turnkey fundraising platform that enables schools to raise money to support a wellness program, he said.
As kids moved, Mr. Latore said, they tracked their progress and asked family and friends to sponsor them during the challenge. For a small investment, parents could really impact wellness in the community, Mr. Latore said.
The Tiger Tour challenged students to log enough miles to virtually visit stadiums around the country with tiger mascots, from Twinsburg, Benedictine, and Cleveland Heights to Massillon and the Detroit Tigers stadium for a total of 182 miles, according to school communications coordinator Leonard May.
With incentives and prizes and a celebration at Chagrin's football game Oct. 28, the challenge event is part of Chagrin's Kids Move Smart initiative designed to encourage students to be more active which leads to better academic performance, he said.
Money raised will purchase fitness equipment for the district, including rock walls for the intermediate and Gurney schools, and new equipment for the fitness center at the middle and high school campus.
As part of the pilot program, Mr. Latore and his partners will evaluate data they have collected about how students use the Movband, what they like about it and if improvements need to be made.
It's been wonderful to see how it's come together, Mr. Latore said.
Designed to combat obesity and eliminate couch time, the Movband has taken Chagrin students by storm as evidenced by parents' remarks on Facebook throughout the challenge, he said.
Parents said their kids were running around the house before bed and logging their mileage. And some even found they didn't even have to press their children to walk the dog. Mr. Latore said even when the weather was cold and rainy and he and his wife suggested to their daughters they could drive to the farmer's market in Chagrin, the girls wouldn't hear of it. With Movbands on their wrists and competition on their minds, they chose to walk to town from their East Washington Street home.
Superintendent William Koons, who with his wife has decided to run a half marathon next May because of the positive experience with the Movband, said, "My neighbor boy is in kindergarten. Last week he ran off the bus with his wrist above his head telling everyone, 'My class gets to go to the roller rink because we have more miles than any other class.' I think the Movband has been a wonderful mechanism to get students in grades kindergarten through 12th thinking about their health and physical fitness."
At the kick-off of the challenge three weeks ago at a Chagrin Falls football game, everybody got into the act, from cheerleaders and band members, to students of all ages, and parents, administrators and teachers.
Intermediate school Principal Christopher Woofter said for fourth, fifth and sixth graders, it is the perfect age for the Movband challenge, not only because the wristbands are "cool" but because the kids are old enough to be independent and competitive.
Movband has received calls from several schools in the area about utilizing the product. There's no out-of-pocket expense for schools, Mr. Latore said, which enables districts to use the bands and pay the company back through its fundraising efforts from a Movband fitness challenge.
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