The Washington Times-Herald

May 18, 2013

North, Owens 'Play' hard

By Nate Smith
Washington Times Herald

WASHINGTON — North Elementary School celebrated its field day Friday with games, ice cream, inflatable fun houses and Indianapolis Colts cheerleaders.

The cheerleaders were there with a trophy as they announced the school had won the Colts’ “Play 60 Challenge” for the second year in a row.

For six weeks, students in North’s fourth, fifth and sixth grades put in more time in physical activities than any school in the state.

“You guys did over 400,000 minutes,” Anna Kimble Roberson with the Colts said. “That is quite an accomplishment.”

Colts Cheerleaders Stefanie and Sally brought a trophy to a presentation for the students during field day. Classes also received wristbands. Started in 2007, Play 60 is a program created by the NFL to combat child obesity by being active for 60 minutes a day.

“It’s important for you guys to know from the entire Colts organization this is something we want to encourage you to do throughout the year,” Kimble Roberson said.

To qualify for the challenge, students kept a log of their activities throughout the week, North physical education teacher Arlene Owens said.

“If they were in PE, they got time for that. If they were in recess, they could use that,” Owens said. “Anytime they were active, they kept track of that.”

Owens said it was an honor to win the award for the second consecutive year.

She said the children were very excited.

“If the kids the concept to be active all the time, they’re not going to fight (obesity),” Owens said.

Owens was selected as the Top Teacher for the Play 60 challenge last fall.

She was honored on the field during a Colts game in November. She was honored “To see their achievements and to accomplish something they normally wouldn’t accomplish.” “They presented this because of how many students we had,” Owens said. “My Lena Dunn children also participated.”

North Principal Jay Wildman said it is “quite an honor.” “Mrs. Owens has been working hard the last several years to organize the Play 60 challenge associated with the Colts,” Wildman said. “To achieve something like this, a statewide honor, is quite an accomplishment for North Elementary.”

The challenge was sponsored by the Colts, the American Heart Association and the YMCA of greater Indianapolis. The school also won an Xbox 360 game console as part of the challenge.