Moving Forward

School lunches, classrooms, late starts, parking. These issues have one thing in common: they affect students. Students have a lot to say about these issues and others within the Cedar Falls School System. When a change is made, students rarely obtain a chance to speak up and voice their opinions. With so many different opinions and the best interest of the students in mind, the Cedar Falls school board recently came up with a way to get an inside look at the educational experience in Cedar Falls through they the eyes of a typical student.

The school board wants to have a student ambassador at future meetings. This student ambassador could offer valuable perspectives about what works and what doesn’t work.

CFHS Principal Dr. Rich Powers attends school board meetings. “I think their intention is when issues are relevant to students, they want to hear that student voice,” Powers said. “What we’re looking for is somebody who’s reflective and can speak for a number of students and not just their own perspective.” Powers is looking mainly at teacher recommendations when choosing the right student for the job. “How we select the first student may not be how we select future students because I think we’ll learn a lot this first time through,” Powers said.

Another issue currently in the school board spotlight is encouraging students to live healthier lifestyles. From Oct. 1 to Nov. 19, elementary students are challenged to exercise for 50 miles during these 50 days. Each week they will turn in their totals from jogging, biking, running, walking or swimming.

Elementary school participants receive a free T-shirt for participating. Older students are also welcome to participate in the challenge and receive a certificate for their efforts. Since Cedar Falls is a Blue Zone, this challenge is another effort to educate kids on exercise and being healthy.  “I think we as a school district are very committed to the Blue Zone effort. Essentially, the healthier we all are, the better for our community,” Powers said.

Besides the 50 miles in 50 days challenge, Cedar Falls High School has also been doing things to get kids moving. On Wednesday, CFHS students and staff had the opportunity to join in a walk around the track at noon during their RCT time or release. Some teachers brought their classes out to participate.

“Iowa has an initiative to get everyone in Iowa healthier and it is the second annual year to do the walk. What they do is they pick a day and a time, so everyone is to walk three times around the track. Yesterday we had 187 kids on the track,” CFHS counselor Erin Gardner said.

With over 100 students participating, the effort made an impact. “There were some students who were out there eager to walk and some complained, but it was less than a mile and it was a beautiful day out,” Gardner said. Since this is the second year doing the walk, there are hopes of making the walk annual. “I think they will probably plan on making this walk an annual thing. I think this helps teach everyone that it’s easy to walk,” Gardner said.

Student Senate Vice President Sophie Perez participated in the walk and agreed that the 4th hour walk is an easy way to help encourage exercise, and she envisions even more participation in the future. “I think the walk should be annual. It makes student realize how easy it is to take a few minutes out of their day to go on a walk or get some kind of exercise in. I definitely think it was a good idea to host the walk, and my only suggestion would be more advertisement so that we could get the whole school to participate,” Perez said.

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