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Thursday, May 5, 2016

NP participates in wellness program

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Dianna Love works out in the NPHS weight room. She is participating in the school corporations "Passport to Wellness" program.
Staff and community members in the North Putnam School systems are getting healthier by participating in a corporation sponsored "Passport to Wellness" program.

The program was created through a donation of money aimed at funding wellness programs by the Wabash Valley West Central Indiana Insurance Trust (WVWCI).

"The WVWCI believes that every dollar spent in wellness saves $3 in claims. They are funding different wellness programs. This didn't cost the corporation any money," said NPHS Dean of Students Jason Chew.

The program is aimed at employees, staff and their families to promote healthier lifestyles. First to learn about fitness, use facilities in the corporation and offer incentives.

Chew is hoping to see the community take advantage of the indoor walking trail at the Middle School and High School created for the Wellness program.

"There are signs that show the trail through the school. It is a four-tenths mile trail. Anyone can walk it, just come to the middle school and sign in," said Chew.

Passport to Wellness was initiated as an eight-week program that wound down recently. Now, the committee in charge of the wellness program would like to see everyone continue to have opportunities to make behavioral changes to support wellness.

Initially, it cost $10 to enroll in the program and join a team. Each person received a passport to track earned points with a list of scheduled activities. These were collected at the end of each week for prize incentives.

Points were earned in three ways. Five points were given for at least 30 minutes of physical activity or ten points for one hour of physical activities. Five points daily were given for having at least five servings of fruits or vegetables per day and another five points for drinking eight-eight ounce glasses of water per day.

Additional points were given for participating in organized activities and for completing email/mailbox bonus activities.

Among the group activities were walking clubs, strengthening, dance instruction and Wednesday Workouts with vintage videos.

Each school building developed their own activities that could be attended by anyone in the corporation. Weekly winners from each school received a $10 gift certificate.

Individual building winners earning the most points won a $50 gift certificate and the building with the most participants wins $500 for their building to be used to purchase a piece of equipment for the staff to use to continue their fitness program.

Prizes for the program were donated by Subway and Wal-Mart in Greencastle and Crawfordsville as well as the Kroger and CVS pharmacies. Putnam County Hospital provided reduced rate health screens in which 91 individuals took part.

"We had 55 individuals take part in the program, that's less than one-fifth of the whole corporation. We'd like to see it grow," said Chew.

"This was our first year and there are some things we'll keep the same and some that we'll do differently next year," he added.

The corporation does have a health committee that is constantly looking at ways to affect possible healthy changes in the schools.

"North Putnam schools have physical fitness assessments in classes to check how fit students are. They have changed the types of snacks available in vending machines to things like crackers instead of candy," explained Chew

The High School offers a salad bar and fruit and vegetable snacks are offered as alternatives at lunch.

"Our Food Services Manager Debbie Carrico is always looking at ways to provide healthier breakfasts and lunches for students in the corporation," said Chew.

For more information about the wellness program call Jason Chew at 522-6282.

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