Pershing Elementary School is located
in St. Joseph, Missouri. We have 280 students and have
80-120 participants in our Project Fit America Kid
Fit Program from grades 2-6 each year. We began this
project in 1998.
Students sign up and come to school from
8:00-9:00am four days a week. They run lap around our
woodchip trail to accumulate miles and workout at each
fitness station. They each have a punch out card and
reach repetition is punched out on the card to accumulate
rewards. They earn incentives as they set and meet
The big goal is to run 100 miles and
get a card punched out for each station by the end
of the year. See
description of rewards and incentives. Over 14
adult volunteers run our program. Parents, (both moms
and dads) and grandparents come to encourage the children
and keep track of how far they run and how many repetitions
they have done at each station. This program is community
based in that parents, staff and students are all involved
in the success of the program.
During the 2004-2005 school year we wanted
to see the outcomes that Project Fit had on our student
body. We only collected data on Kid-Fit students that
had at least 20 miles and 2 station cards punched out
by the end of the school year.
Data was collected on the students’ body
mass index, attendance and academic test scores. Over
all we found that in general those students that participate
in the before school Kid Fit Program attend more school
regularly, have less body fat and score higher academically
at the end of the year assessments. See graphs below
Body Mass Index
This is our 8th year of using Project
Fit America. We were awarded a grant from Heartland
Foundation in St. Joseph, Missouri in 1998. Since that
time our students did better in the classroom, attended
school regularly and lowered their body mass index.
Teachers often comment that the Project Fit students
come directly from our Kid Fit Program ready to learn.
Parents’ say that their children are ready to
get out of bed, and excited to get to school just to
participate in the program.
The Pershing Community has enjoyed Project
Fit America outdoor equipment component and it is often
used during the evenings, weekends and summer by families.