Friday, December 29, 2006

North Stars, TCAPS kick off fitness program

Traverse City Area Public School students give their brains a workout every day. The Traverse City North Stars and Traverse City State Bank are doing their parts to help make sure they give their bodies a workout as well.

Kicking off the joint North Stars-TCAPS program, “Wild Cherry & the Fitness Fruit All-Stars” at Bertha Vos and Willow Hill schools just before the Christmas/New Year’s Break, the team is hopeful that the goal-based mini-curriculum will further the efforts of TCAPS’ fine physical education instruction.

“We’re very excited to partner with TCAPS on the program, and it’s just been so well-received,” said North Stars head coach Scott Gardiner. “The kids seem excited about it, our players love going out to the schools for the kick-offs, and every bit of feedback so far has just been very positive.”

Over 1,300 students from six area elementary schools – Bertha Vos and Willow Hill plus Norris, Long Lake, Central, and Courtade – in grades 3 through 6 are provided with “Wild Cherry & the Fitness Fruit All-Stars” booklets. These contain instructions on how to achieve certain physical fitness standards that were derived from the district’s own benchmarks, and further developed for the program by a committee of TCAPS physical education instructors, led by Tim Hysell and Kelly Roscher.

The areas of emphasis are flexibility, aerobic fitness, push-ups, and sit-ups. Each discipline is represented by a corresponding fictional fruit character (hence the name of the program).

Once the grade-specific proficiencies have been demonstrated to both parent/guardian and physical education instructor, the student is given a free game ticket to their school’s North Stars night, where they will be honored on the ice by a player at the second intermission, receive a special prize pack, and skate with the players and team mascot (Wild Cherry) following the game.

“It’s a matter of reinforcing what they’re already learning from their own phys ed teachers,” Gardiner explained. “And I think the more you reinforce, the more angles you can come at kids with positive influences, you add a certain depth and breadth to the message. Then I think you get even more students buying into the fact that physical fitness is an important component of a well-balanced, healthy human being.”

Attached please find the “Wild Cherry & the Fitness Fruit All-Stars” booklet, which is the same document that is being distributed to participating TCAPS students. It explains the program in greater detail, sets dates for the individual schools’ North Stars game nights, and provides an area to chart progress. This document can also be downloaded at

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