Gold Medal Schools

Read Why Principals, Teachers, and Students Love Gold Medal Schools  

Gold Medal Schools helps shape one school's fitness program
Students in helmetsAs a school whose parents, teachers, board members, and administration strive to offer our children the best, we have had to become creative in making sure that our kids stay active and healthy. It was fabulous to stumble upon the state’s Gold Medal Program, a program that has set the foundation for fitness, health awareness, and wellness in our school.

Truly, the Gold Medal Program has become the core of our fitness program. We have created excitement among the students to run and keep fit. The kids do their laps and compete for “feet” awards monthly, (each child gets a key chain and when they run 5 miles, they get a foot award to add to their chain), they hang their feet on their binders and backpacks proudly. The teachers have been terrific role models as they have run along side the students.

It is terrific to be able to provide a curriculum with such great fitness and academic balance. It is AWESOME to be a Gold Medal School.

-Angela Fehling, Gold Medal Chairman, Summit Academy

Physical activity increases for McMillan Elementary School students  

I have seen wonderful changes in the students of our school as they have become more aware of their physical fitness. We have had a lap course added to our playground for the students to walk/run daily. There have been students come to me during their recess time and ask if they can practice their push-ups, pull-ups, curl-ups, and even run in the gym when the weather is bad outside. Many students stop in our hall to check out our map tracking where we have made it to so far. They are always amazed each month to see how their steps turn into laps, the laps turn into miles, and when added all together, take us such great distances as we travel our way around the world.

Our staff has also enjoyed the wellness programs we have completed. We have all become more aware of the amount of physical exercise, the amount of steps we take, and the amount and choices of fruits and veggies we have in a day.

The Gold Medal Schools program is a great tool that has benefited everyone in some way.

-Kim Montrone, School Coordinator, McMillan Elementary

Why 4th grader Maya M. Tatton likes the Gold Medal Schools program  

I like the Gold Medal Mile because it gets your heart pumping. Another reason is because it gets you strong and healthy for the future. Gold Medal Mile is awesome, it’s fun and you get active. The whole thing is great for your body, health, and your whole life. If we didn’t have Gold Medal Mile we probably wouldn’t be as active as we are now.

Every Tuesday and Thursday at lunch recess, we get the opportunity to run as many miles as we can or want to.

-Myah M. Tatton, 4th grade student, Howard R. Driggs Elementary

Mariam Kergaye likes that the Gold Medal Mile teaches her teamwork  

For me, my sister would say that I’m really lazy. This program has helped me achieve my goal of being heart healthy and active. Running has let me get my legs to develop for later in life programs. One word can sum up what Gold Medal Mile has taught lots of people and that word is Teamwork. We’re going to need to teach others teamwork and you can only do that by learning it yourself. That is why we need this program. That’s why us Drigg’s Dragons are doing it. Drigg’s Elementary School has made it all the way with this program. Go do Gold Medal Mile and be heart healthy with us all. That’s all that we all love to do.

-Mariam Kergaye, 4th grade student, Howard R. Driggs Elementary


Gold Medal Schools is an invaluable and irreplaceable program
As the Healthy Lifestyles Supervisor for the Davis School District one of my responsibilities is to oversee the K-12 physical education and health education programs in the district. In a time when childhood obesity and other health related issues are decimating our young people in record numbers, I consider Gold Medal Schools to be an invaluable and irreplaceable program to encourage activity and healthy lifestyles in our elementary age students.

I see the Gold Medal Schools program as one of our most valuable tools in educating our young people about the multiple benefits of activity and proper nutrition. Now is the time, and Gold Medal Schools is certainly one of the processes by which we, working together can reverse the current trend of obese children and set our students on a path to a healthy, productive, and enjoyable life.

-Steven R. Lindsay, Healthy Lifestyles Supervisor, Davis School District
Academy Park Elementary sees test scores, attendance, and behavior improvements from GMS  

In 2004 I moved from Beehive Elementary in Kearns, Utah to Academy Park Elementary in West Valley City. I teach 6th grade and I am the school coordinator. There are three of us on the 6th grade team.

Teacher with Students at KUTVThe school was not a Gold Medal School when I arrived, but I convinced the Principal to let me try and get it going at our school. Most of the teachers were not interested at first, but after watching the 6th grade and the huge improvement over a period of time, slowly but surely the other grades jumped on board with both feet. We now have over 93% of our staff committed to Gold Medal Schools.

The numbers I share are only 6th grade numbers since that is what I teach and track. We track three things...1. Attendance, 2. Behavior, and 3. CRT Test Scores.

In 2003-2004, the year before I moved to Academy Park

  1. Attendance was at 91.7 percent.
  2. Behavior during morning recess was out of control. Students were being sent home because of behavior, which meant they missed their other lessons.
  3. CRT test scores in Language Arts were at a 48 percent composite score for the 6th grade. The Math score was 57 percent.

First Year of Gold Medal Schools: 2004-2005:

  1. Attendance: 93.6%, an increase, which meant more students were in class and not home sick.
  2. Behavior: we started the Gold Medal Mile during morning recess. Students were walking, getting in shape, getting healthy, and not getting into trouble, which meant they stayed for the day and were taught all the lessons.
  3. CRT Scores: Language Arts scores increased to 53% as a grade level and Math CRT increased to 61% as a grade level.

In conclusion, it is my belief that the Gold Medal Mile each morning, 180 days for the school year, over 50,000 miles as a school, does help increase the attendance, behavior, and CRT Tests scores. I shared this with the school and yes, most of the schools jumped on the next year.

The 2005-2006 school year was amazing. A lot of great things happened to our school. These numbers reflect our school and not just 6th grade.

  1. Attendance: as a school we improved 3.8% from the previous year, which meant 2,671 less absences for the year.
  2. Behavior: more grades started walking during their morning recess, which means the students were walking about 15-20 minutes daily as a grade. There were 97 fewer citations given out during that time of day. Huge improvement. 6th grade had only two for the entire year during morning classes.
  3. CRT Tests: I only have the 6th grade Language Arts we improved to 68% and in Math we improved to 73%.

Our school is very grateful for Gold Medal Schools. It has helped us focus on so many areas that we didn't before.

-Bill Koehler, 6th grade teacher and school coordinator, Academy Park Elementary

Our community partners support us too!  

Intermountain Healthcare has been a supporter of the Gold Medal Schools Program because of the severe need in Utah to address the growing health concerns created by childhood obesity and because of the effective strategies demonstrated by Gold Medal Schools Program. Intermountain Healthcare has committed its support to the Gold Medal School Program now and for future years in the hopes of leaving a legacy of an improved quality of life for the children of Utah, and it would encourage others to join in that effort.

-Intermountain Healthcare, in a July 2006 letter of support

The Utah State Office of Education is very concerned about the health of Utah children and understands its impact on the ability of children to learn…The Gold Medal Schools program has been a benefit to Utah’s schools.

-Utah State Office of Education, in a February 2009 letter of support

With childhood obesity on the rise, schools have become the ideal place to teach students about physical activity, nutrition, and staying tobacco-free.  Through policies established by Gold Medal Schools, students are not only learning healthy habits to last a lifetime, but are also demonstrating better overall mental health, behavior, self-esteem, and academic success.

-Marilyn Simister, Utah PTA President, February 2009

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