photo The 2008
Total Fitness

“Move your body, stretch your mind”
Sponsored by
Assemblyman Michael J. Cusick

Assemblyman Michael J. Cusick Assemblyman
Michael J. Cusick

Dear Neighbor,

Young children should not use summer vacation as an excuse to be inactive both physically and mentally. Studies have shown that children who continue to read during the summer perform better academically in the fall. It is also important for children to be physically active as part of a healthy lifestyle. To encourage children to exercise both their mind and body during the summer months, I have established the 2008 Total Fitness Challenge.

The Total Fitness Challenge is open to all students from pre-kindergarten through fifth grade. Each child must read at least 15 minutes every day, and perform as many physical activities as they want. The different physical activities are assigned varying point values, which count towards each student’s total score. A Total Fitness medal will be awarded to the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place top scorers from each grade among the island-wide entries.

Mark the enclosed calendar for each day in July and August that you and your child read together and exercise. When there are 40 or more days marked off, your child will earn an Excellence in Reading and Fitness Certificate. Fill out the information form below and return it and the calendar to me. I will provide your child with a certificate.

A good source for reading materials is your local public library (click here for a reading list). I’ve also listed a series of physical activities as suggestions for your child to perform.

Thank you and have fun!


1911 Richmond Ave.
Staten Island, NY 10314
(718) 370-1384

Excellence in Reading and Fitness Certificate
Information Form

Child’s Name (First, Last)


Grade as of 6/08

Parent or Guardian Name (First, Last)

Address 1

Address 2


Number of Days Completed.

Total Number of Points

To receive your certificate and be eligible for a medal, please have your parents complete the above form and send it with the attached calendar to:

Assemblyman Michael J. Cusick
1911 Richmond Avenue
Staten Island, NY 10314
(718) 370-1384

**Click here for a printable information form**

Assemblyman Michael J. Cusick
2008 Total Fitness Challenge

“We pledge to read together for at least 15 minutes each day and exercise during the months of July and August. For each day we read together we will mark the attached calendar with a checkmark checkmark. For each day we exercise together we will mark the corresponding letter in that day’s box. I will also have my parent initial each day that reading and exercise are done.”

When you have marked 40 days on this calendar, you have earned an Excellence in Reading and Fitness Certificate. Fill out the back of this brochure and return it to Assemblyman Michael Cusick.

**Click here for a printable reading and activities calendar**

2008 Total Fitness Challenge

“There is more treasure in books than in all the pirates’ loot on Treasure Island ... and best of all, you can enjoy these riches every day of your life.”

—Walt Disney

“A bear, however hard he tries, grows tubby without exercise.”

—A.A. Milne

Subject Headings (authors & grade levels in parentheses)


The Cay (Taylor; 4 - 6)
The Dark Thirty: Southern Tales of the    Supernatural (McKissack; 4 - 6)
Hatchet (Paulsen; 4 - 6)
Shiloh (Naylor; 4 - 6)
Snow Treasure (McSwigan; 3 - 6)
Stone Fox (Gardiner; 3 - 6)
Trouble River (Byars; 3 - 6)

Fantasy & Mystery

Marvin Redpost: A Flying Birthday Cake?
     (Sachar; 3 - 4)
The BFG (Dahl; 4 - 5)
The Book of Three (Alexander; 4 - 5)
The Borrowers (Norton; 4 - 6)
Cricket in Times Square (Selden; 3 - 6)
The Dark is Rising (Cooper; 3 - 6)
The Giver (Lowry; 3 - 6)
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
     (Rowling; 3 - 6)
The Indian in the Cupboard (Banks; 4 - 5)
James and the Giant Peach (Dahl; 4 - 5)
Jeremy Thatcher, Dragon Hatcher
     (Coville; 3 - 5)
The Littles (Peterson; 3 - 4)
Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH
     (O’Brien; 4 - 5)
Phantom Tollbooth (Juster; 3 - 6)
Stuart Little (White; 4 - 5)
Tom’s Midnight Garden (Pearce; 5 - 6)
The Secret Garden (Burnett; 3 - 6)
The Wish Giver (Brittain; 4 - 5)
A Wrinkle in Time (L’Engle; 4 - 6)


Afternoon of the Elves (Lisle; 5 - 6)
Babe – The Gallant Pig (King-Smith; 3 - 6)
Best Friend Insurance (Gormley; 3 - 4)
Bridge to Terabithia (Paterson; 5 - 6)
Crow Boy (Yashima; 3 - 5)
Cute is a Four-Letter Word (Pevsner; 4 - 5)
The Cybil War (Byars; 4 - 5)
Dear Mr. Henshaw (Cleary; 4 - 6)
In the Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson
     (Lord; 3 - 5)
Law of Gravity (Hurwitz; 4 - 6)
Nothing’s Fair in Fifth Grade
     (DeClements; 4 - 5)
Number the Stars (Lowry; 4 - 6)
On My Honor (Bauer; 4 - 6)
Pickle Puss (Giff; 3 - 4)
The Pinballs (Byars; 4 - 5)
Stay Away From Simon (Carrick; 4 - 6)
Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing (Blume; 3 - 5)


Aliens for Breakfast (Etra; 3 - 6)
Anastasia Krupnik (Lowry; 3 - 6)
Bunnicula: A Rabbit-Tale of Mystery
     (Howe; 3 - 6)
Chocolate Fever (Smith; 2 - 4)
Fat Men From Space (Pinkwater; 3 - 4)
The Fortune Tellers (Alexander; 2 - 3)
The Goof that Won the Pennant (Kalb; 2 - 3)
Homer Price (McCloskey; 4 - 5)
How to Eat Fried Worms (Rockwell; 4 - 6)
Isabelle Shows Her Stuff (Greene; 4 - 5)
Jelly Belly (Smith; 3 - 4)
Kevin Corbett Eats Flies (Hermes; 4 - 5)
Owls in the Family (Mowat; 3 - 4)
Ramona Quimby, Age 8 (Cleary; 3 - 4)
The Ransom of Red Chief (O’Henry; 5 - 6)
Yours Till Niagara Falls, Abby (O’Connor; 4 - 6)


Behind Rebel Lines: The Incredible Story of Emma Edmonds, Civil War Spy (Reit; 3 - 6)
Bound for Oregon (Van Leeuwen; 3 - 6)
Caddie Woodlawn (Brink; 4 - 6)
The Door in the Wall (de Angeli; 3 - 6)
Johnny Tremain (Forbes; 3 - 6)
Little House in the Big Woods (Wilder; 3 - 6)
Sarah, Plain and Tall (MacLachlan; 3 - 6)
My Sister’s Keeper (Butler; 3 - 6)


Dragons, Dragons (Carle)
For Laughing Out Loud: Poems To Tickle Your Funnybone (Prelutsky)
Mice are Nice (Larrick)
Something Big Has Been Here (Prelutsky)


Me, Mop and the Moondance Kid
    (Myers; 4 - 6)
Baseball Fever (Hurwitz; 3 - 5)
Guinness Sports Record Book (4 - 6)
Hang Tough, Paul Mather (Slote; 4 - 5)
No Arm in Left Field (Christopher; 4 - 6)
S.O.R. Losers (Avi; 4 - 6)
The Meat in the Sandwich (Bach; 3 - 4)
The Trading Game (Slote; 4 - 6)

Catch the
Reading Bug!

Special thanks goes to the NYS Education Department’s Division of Library Development and librarians across the state for their help.

**Click here for a printable reading list**

Let’s Get Fit Together


Step 1: Move off the couch!
According to 2005 statistics compiled by the Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System, which is part of the Centers for Disease Control, 37 percent of New York State youth self-reported that they did not participate in vigorous physical activity in three or more days out of seven. Further, 78 percent of New York State youth self-reported that they did not participate in moderate physical activity in five or more days out of seven. And almost 85 percent of New York State youth self-reported they did not have daily physical education. Studies also show preschool and childhood obesity is rising. Additional reports state that most overweight children have at least one major physiological risk factor, besides being overweight, and they are likely to have abnormally thick heart muscle tissues as adults, which increases the risk of heart attack and heart failure.

Step 2: Take action!
Getting active can help reduce these risks and we’ve listed some ideas for getting fit:

Pre-K to 2nd Grade
A - Swingset/playground
B - Gardening (with parent)
C - Walk around the block (with parent)
D - Make a sandcastle
E - 25 jumping jacks
F - Jump rope
G - Hopscotch
H - Tag/manhunt
I - Jogging in place for 5 minutes
J - Swimming
K - Miscellaneous _________
5 points
5 points
5 points
5 points
5 points
10 points
10 points
10 points
10 points
10 points
5 points
3rd Grade - 5th Grade
A - Miniature golf
B - Bowling
C - Shoot 10 foul shots
D - Jogging/running (for 10 minutes)
E - Swimming (for 15 minutes)
F - Soccer/Football/Baseball/ Basketball/Hockey
G - Shoot 25 foul shots
H - 25 push-ups or 25 sit-ups
I - Bike riding/skateboarding
J - Rollerblading/rollerskating
K - Miscellaneous________
5 points
5 points
5 points
5 points
5 points
5 points
10 points
10 points
10 points
10 points
5 points

Web sites providing facts and figures about staying healthy

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

American Heart Association:

President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports:

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services:

**Click here for a printable activities list**