By the HELP Committee and Havre Public Schools
The HELP Committee and Boys & Girls Club of the Hi-Line truly is a positive place for kids. The club provides a safe environment where kids can learn and practice the benefits of healthy self-esteem, good attitude, sportsmanship and integrity. But, it isn't only in these areas that the club excels as a positive place. The physical health of kids is provided for at the club as well.
In our Games Room, we have several different, popular activities that promote movement and physical engagement. One of the most popular is the DDR machine, cited in Reader's Digest as an excellent, enjoyable way to bring movement into sedentary lifestyles. Dancing to the beat of the Dance Dance Revolution has led to weight loss for kids in many cases. To play, you face a video screen with arrows moving to a song's beat, while standing on a pad with arrows pointing left, right, up and down. Move your feet to match your motions to the on-screen arrows' movements and score points as you move. One 17-year-old in Texas lost 50 pounds in three months by dancing daily on the DDR.
The more familiar games and activities in the Games Room also burn calories while encouraging good sportsmanship and interaction with peers. Billiards or pool uses 18 calories per 15 minutes of play. Foosball burns about 60 calories per hour of play. Air Hockey uses about 20 calories per 15 minutes of play. Bumper pool is a favorite that consumes 60 calories per hour of play. Fine motor skills and precision are honed in these games.
The gymnasium provides room to run and shout while refining gross motor control by engaging in physical activities. The club encourages kids to join in these activities, especially after spending most of their day at a school desk. Some of the scheduled games are: Dynamite-a dodge ball-like game using soft yarn balls; regulation basketball games; pingpong; freeze tag; volleyball; parachute trap; Red Rover; Duck, Duck, Goose; jump rope and hula hoop contests. All of these activities are presided over by a youth development specialist who has a degree in physical education. The calories burned during these activities vary widely depending on the child and the level of interaction.
Physical health includes not only movement but diet and healthy choices. Again, the HELP Committee and Boys & Girls Club of the Hi-Line provides a positive avenue for kids to learn about these choices and the chance to practice them. A representative of the Hill County Extension Office comes once a week to teach kids how to make healthy snacks. A series of programs offered by the club, Smart Kids Make Smart Moves/Start Smart/Stay Smart, gives kids guidance in making wise choices concerning food, exercise, and situations with their peers. Our Cavity Free Program highlights the importance of hygiene and good dental care.
In this New Year, the HELP Committee and Boys & Girls Club of the Hi-Line will continue to provide a very special place for kids to practice healthy choices physically and mentally. We will continue to be a positive place for kids to grow and try out new ideas while having fun. For more information about the Boys & Girls Club of the Hi-Line, call 265-6206.