June 9, 2004 | By: Aimee Heald-Nielson

Classes competed against each other in a tug-of-war.

Students at Clinton County Middle School in Albany recently ended the school year with a emphasis on exercise and nutrition at 4-H Fitness Day.

It’s not uncommon for schools to end the academic year with some type of field day, full of fun outdoor activities and snacks. This year, the Clinton County Cooperative Extension Service’s 4-H program took over the day and showed students that exercising and eating right can be fun.

“For the last couple of months, we’ve been coming in the school and distributing nutrition and exercise information,” said Jennifer Howard, Clinton County Extension agent for family and consumer sciences. “So we decided to add cardiovascular activities to the yearend field day and we handed out some nutritious snacks, which were donated.”

Clinton County recently kicked off “Get Moving Clinton County,” as their part in the statewide “Get Moving Kentucky” initiative coordinated by the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture’s Health Education through Extension Leadership program. 

“We have a great number of adults enrolled in the program,” Howard said. “This allowed us to get the kids involved as well.”

Students competed in groups in activities such as obstacle courses, relay races and tug-o-war. Each activity was designed for fun, but also for essential exercise. 

Seventh grade teacher Sid Scott said the event is a wonderful way to end the school year.

“The kids get to see us in a different way; they get to see the real people we are,” he said. “We get to become a little bit more like middle schoolers and have some fun.”

Scott happened to win one of the competitions for “most whiney teacher” and he and a fellow teacher had to drink a mystery concoction the student referred to as “Fear Factor 4-H style.” The mystery drink was simply blended mixed vegetables, but the teachers grimaced and put on a good show for the students. Scott said he was always involved in 4-H growing up.

“It (4-H) was a big thing in my life,” he said. “So it’s great to see 4-H doing great things for these kids.”

Clinton County 4-H Program Assistant Linda Bell coordinates several 4-H clubs at the school during the year and always makes sure the students know about 4-H opportunities during the school year and beyond. Many of the students will attend 4-H camp this summer.
“Some of the games today were taken from 4-H camp-like activities,” she said. “The purpose is to end the school year with 4-H in mind.”

Bell and Howard said they will carry the fitness theme into next year and begin a statewide program called “Clover Cat Way to Wellness,” in the school this fall. They will take a survey of students exercise and eating habits before the program begins and then again after the program is over to check their progress.


Writer: Aimee D. Heald  859-257-4736, ext. 267