Staying fit in mind and body throughout the year, not just when school is in session, really pays off, a group of elementary school students found out.
The children, 19 in all, representing schools throughout Staten Island, from pre-kindergarten through grade five, were lauded by Assemblyman Michael Cusick during a Total Fitness Challenge awards ceremony he sponsored in PS 42, Eltingville.
While summer reading is important, said Cusick, so is staying physically fit. He said record high childhood obesity levels mean youngsters need to be encouraged to remain active by the adults in their lives.
Fourteen schools were involved in Cusickís fitness challenge, with 76 youngsters participating Islandwide. Cusick said he hopes to expand next yearís fitness challenge to include intermediate schools.
The children spent their summer days reading as well as walking, running, jumping and swimming, all earning points. Every participant earned a certificate and the top three performers in each grade received a medal.