The Edmond Sun

May 13, 2013

Boulevard Academy examines healthy choices

Patty Miller
The Edmond Sun

EDMOND — During the school year, Boulevard Academy students have learned some healthy lessons.

On Aug. 17, the first day of school this year, Christy Prather-Skinner, one of the faculty members, took a fast-food cheeseburger, an order of fries and a peach and set them out to see what would happen. Last week, the students saw the result.

“The hamburger and fries still looked the same as they did 10 months ago, and the peach had dried up leaving only the pit,” Skinner said. “All year long we have encouraged the students to develop their full potential, including body, mind, emotions, relationships and spirits.”

Skinner said the faculty hoped they have helped the students realize they have no control nor blame for parents divorcing, one parent or friends leaving, mental illness or addiction.

“We wanted them to realize they can control and choose the path they walk,” Skinner said.

So the students were encouraged to begin walking every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

Skinner said Lori Manning with Mercy Healthcare came and talked with the students about being an informed consumer and paying attention to what they eat and what is in the food they eat, especially sugar.

The students continued walking.

Manning came back and encouraged the students to pay attention to “label lingo.”

“If they can’t pronounce what is in the food label, as for myself, I don’t want to eat it,” Skinner told the students.

Skinner said the students were encouraged to “eat a rainbow.”

“And I don’t mean Mike and Ike’s or M & Ms,” Skinner said. “Instead of choosing to eat a chicken fried steak, make that choice include salmon, broccoli, carrots and maybe potatoes.”

Skinner said the students were encouraged to focus on health. She added across the board 70 percent of high school students do not smoke, leaving 30 percent of the students who do.

“At Boulevard Academy the number is greater than 30 percent of the students who smoke,” Skinner said. “Not only is smoking highly addictive, it is also expensive.”

The students were encouraged to exchange smoking for a healthier option like walking or running.

“Information available shows that after 10 years of non-smoking, health returns if a student stops smoking early enough,” Skinner said.

As the students were encouraged to trade smoking for walking or running they learned that those two forms of exercise caused a decrease in stress, increased sleep patterns and warded off depression.

Throughout the year the students were encouraged to walk or run entering their first organized run Dec. 8, the Santa Run, where student Daniel Penner placed third.

Three students earned a physical education credit by walking and one student walked 63 miles. Seventy students walked at least once, and soon the group had set a goal to complete a marathon relay of 26.2 miles.

On April 28 at 4:30 a.m., six students and five teachers got up to run the Oklahoma City Memorial Relay Marathon.

The students ran a total of 34.1 miles and the staff ran 35.5 miles. Together the 10-person team covered 69.6 miles. The fifth staff member, Rexi Phillips, had already signed up to run with another group.

Students running included Penner, 9.3 miles; Samuel Gardner, 9.3 miles, Jessie Gibson, 3.1 miles; Cody Altmiller, 3.1 miles; Lauren Hoag, 3.1 miles and Tim Stansberry, 6.2 miles.

Staff relay team members included Christy Prather-Skinner, Lisa Miller, Rebecca Arnold and Lisa Wright.