“The Healthy LifeStars program gives us a structured way to get kids moving and to teach them about overall health and wellness,” explained Karin Hostetter, Director of Enrichment for Summer Scholars in Denver, CO.
Summer Scholars is an award-winning, year-round, extended learning program partnering with 20 Denver elementary schools. Participants, primarily low income, elementary students and their families, receive high-quality reading, language and math tutoring, enrichment and family literacy assistance.
Healthy LifeStars provides an important piece to the program puzzle explained Hostetter. “Because of Healthy LifeStars, the kids get a healthy, physical break so they will be better able to focus on hard tasks.”
During the summer, as part of the program, students participate in arts and crafts, sports, math and special activities like dance, music and swimming lessons. And they run. “The kids love working for those stars,” said Hostetter. “We are helping them learn to set goals with the hope they can use those skills in other parts of their lives. They learn to think differently and approach challenges in a new way.”
“As an example, Alex ( this month’s Healthy LifeStar) , who has set a goal for running laps, experiences a real sense of pride in that achievement,” explained Hostetter. “Later he can repeat that process in the classroom or in other aspects of his life. He can ask himself, now let me see what I can do with Math, or Reading.”
“As a result, “Hostetter notes, “we are helping kids create relationships, opportunities and the personal qualities they will need to avoid risks and to thrive.”