Greenville School Incorporates Nintendo Wii To Curriculum To Challenge Childhood Obesity


By Catalina Trivino


Each year, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama grants funding to schools across the state to keep kids healthy -- and there's one school in Butler County that's used the money to buy equipment that might seem out of the ordinary for a gym class...

Students at Greenville Middle School are playing a bit differently compared to your usual gym class.

Although the school hasn't taken outside play time out of their curriculum, they've added something new --- technology, in hope of enhancing their health program. And that means, they're playing video games.

"The parents reaction at first seemed to be a little surprised about what we're doing in the classroom, in the P.E. department down here. But when they see it's to help the kids become more active and get them in shape, they were more than happy to see these things going on in the classroom," Said GMS gym coach, Gary Lett.

It's all thanks to a $10,000 dollar grant from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama. And GMS was one of 10 schools in the state awarded the grant. Lett says they're engaging kids in more physical education by bringing their home life to school.

So, they're using the Nintendo Wii to get students moving.

"It helps me because it has fun exercises and games and you can lose weight and stuff and burn calories," Said fifth grader, Meizja Burnett.

"Sometimes when you're having so much fun, you forget you're even playing a game because it's like real life, you're like outside playing and I love it," Said another fifth grader, Jalisa Manning.

But that's not all this grant is providing -- the school has cut fried foods from their wellness program and they've added more color to their plates.

"A variety of fresh fruit and whole grain, along with fresh vegetables -- for example, we're offering students peas, carrots, salad, rice, in place of pizza and fried food," Said GMS Principal, Curtis Black.

The school has already gotten parents involved in helping them carry on healthy habits at home. They've been having fitness nights and healthy eating classes since last semester.

With this new curriculum, the school has also set a goal for students and faculty to lose at least 2,000 lbs by the end of the school year.

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