A bunch of second graders are competing to see who's the fastest when it comes to stacking plastic cups in a variety of patterns. The "Speed Stacking" contest is part of the Physical Education Program at Nativity BVM in Biloxi.
P.E. Teacher Loretta Bond said "Because they're using left brain-right brain, and crossing the body to do the cup stacking, so we felt that would help our overall program".
The activity also improves the children's memory and hand-eye coordination. Everyday, Loretta Bond pushes her students to stay in shape. That's why her school has such a strong P.E. program and keeps winning the Presidential Fitness Award year after year.
Fifth Grader Lisa Jatta said "Some schools didn't even get a chance to win this and we did, and I think that's great".
Bond stresses exercise, nutrition, and strengthening any weaknesses. She said "We found that our upper body strength was an area that we really needed to work on, so we bought playground equipment that we felt would help us there".
Bond encourages students to participate in the walking program, taking tests about fitness, and practicing during recess. Some of her students have been earning the Presidential Fitness badge since Kindergarten.
Sixth Grader Garet Lawson said "I used to take gymnastics a long time ago, so that helped me a little bit, and I do some track and I work out at my house".
Lisa Jatta said "I go home and run around the block a few times. I always ride my bike".
The students are already pumped up for the next fitness challenge. Bond said "This is a good motivator because we're like OK, see what we did last year? Now let's go for it again this year".
Nativity was the only school in South Mississippi that won the Presidential Fitness Award. The next test is scheduled for the end of October. The students are tested in five categories:
- Sit-ups (stomach muscles)
- One-mile run (cardiovascular endurance)
- Pull-ups (arm strength)
- Shuttle run (speed)
- Sit and reach (flexibility)