MARIETTA - For Washington Elementary teachers and students who have become a little less active, and a little less healthy, this winter, help is on the way.
A group of the school's fifth-graders are choosing to serve their school community by getting them moving every day.
The students have started leading the entire building in a three-minute workout every day after morning announcements are read, slipping some stretching and cardio right into the schedule.
Photo by Kate York
Washington Elementary fifth-graders Kaitlynn Arnott, left, and Tyanna Washburn, practice a stretching routine,
"Just three minutes can make a big difference," said fifth-grader Griffin Becker, 11.
As the project gets off the ground, some of the fitness group students will visit each classroom while they exercise to help with technique and motivation.
And if teachers think they can skip the wellness exercise, they might need to reconsider.
"We're going to make them do it," Becker said, with a grin.
The students have been practicing often to get their routines down, said Mike Bogan, a student teacher from Marietta College working with the group.
"They've been really excited about it," he said. "It will be an everyday thing, to get the blood flowing at the start of the day and help everyone to learn better."
Each day of the week will have a different exercise theme and focus, along with fun names, like Monday Madness, Wacky Wednesday and Funky Friday.
"That's when we'll do dances like the hokey pokey and the chicken dance," said fifth-grader Nathan Matthews, 11.
Aside from the fun, there's a serious lesson to the project, Matthews said.
"Instead of sitting on the couch and eating potato chips, we want everyone to get in shape," he said. "It will help them be healthy and live longer so it's really important."