Schools across Northeast Ohio were offered the opportunity to participate in Straight from the Heart 2017 Youth Movement Contest sponsored by the Community West Foundation and Cleveland Clinic Regional Hospitals. This was a fun motivational contest to help combat youth obesity by encouraging Northeast Ohio school-age children to be more active. Classes had to submit a one-minute video showing why their classroom should be selected to participate in the contest, and the wellness program the school plans with the prize money. If selected to participate in the contest, each student would be given a free MOVband (wearable wristband technology) to track activity for one month. At the end of the competition, the class in each age group with the most activity would be awarded $5,000 for a school wellness program.
One of our classrooms decided to accept the challenge. Fr. John and I have wanted to create a playground area for our younger students’ use and with the hope of Parent Club assisting in the funding, we wish to make this a reality. This became the topic of the 2nd Grade wellness video. Mrs. McGinty’s 2nd Graders practiced a cheer in their classroom, then perfected and performed it in the gym to send to the Clinic. As part of the incentive, Mrs. McGinty requested some backing from the Cleveland Cavaliers by asking them to provide t-shirts for every one of her students. I was very excited, as well as her class, when the box arrived with twenty shirts for the children. We were notified that St. Mark’s 2nd Grade was accepted as one of the competitors, and boy were the kids ready for competition! The students were outfitted with their MOVbands, which tracked their moves, miles, and steps per day for a month. Once the contest period ended, with great excitement, we waited for the results.
We were notified earlier this month that we placed Second in the Elementary Division overall, but had actually clocked more Miles per Member/Day, so the Clinic decided to award our children with a prize. Last Tuesday, Margaret Lenehan from the Cleveland Clinic Youth Movement Challenge came out to school to present a check for $1,000 to Mrs. McGinty’s 2nd Grade classroom. The money will go towards our vision of a new playground for our younger students. (If any of you would like to donate toward this cause, donations would gladly be accepted!) The kids were so excited and I was so proud of them! This is a great example of community support, teamwork, and some strong determination on the part of seven-year-olds!
We also had a special visitor spend some time with us a few weeks ago. Major League Baseball umpire, James Hoye, uncle to several of our students, was in town for the Cleveland Indians Home Opener and came to visit our students the following morning. Mr. Hoye has been a professional umpire since 1997. He has worked one All-Star Game (2015), two Division Series (2011 and 2015), and one Wild Card Game (2014). He was the First Base umpire for Mark Buehrle’s (Chicago White Sox) no-hitter against the Texas Rangers on April 18, 2007. He explained to the kids how base rotation occurs for umpires, so he had been at 3rd base for the Opener and would move to 2nd base for that evening’s game. He showed the students the equipment he wears, how he makes calls, explained some of his most exciting calls, and shared some funny stories. (You know you have a successful assembly when you can hear a pin drop in the room!) The kids were given time to ask questions, and then he shared a few baseballs from the game with a few lucky recipients. The kids all learned how to make Homeplate calls like “Safe” and “Strike Three!” A special thanks goes out to the Sowul Family for making the arrangements for us to host Mr. Hoye at our school. It was great fun!