Kids’ kicks help P.E. programs
April 15, 2012 8:52AM
Master Kyunk Sik Mun (standing) encourages Lily Cooke, while instructor Jack Cooke holds a target during the Kick-a-Thon at Family Martial Arts in Shorewood, IL. | submitted photo
Updated: May 17, 2012 8:05AM
Family Martial Arts (FMA) in Shorewood held its first Kick-a-Thon last month to benefit physical education and athletic programs in the Troy School District.
FMA Shorewood master Kyunk Sik Mun and student/instructor Jack Cooke came up with the idea to help support athletics and fitness in the schools in their community.
FMA has students with all levels of fitness, from the super athletic to the non-athletic, Cooke said. The same holds true for students at all schools.
Just talking with teachers in the school district where his own children attend, in Frankfort, funding for physical education equipment is limited, he said.
Booster organizations and foundations pick up the slack in some of those areas. In Frankfort, Cooke’s son’s physical education classes were able to purchase Wii video game systems and dance programs through the school’s parent foundation.
The students love learning the dance moves, which gets them exercising without even thinking about it.
The Troy Educational Foundation is one such group that accepts donations and then disburses the money through grants to the school district for various educational purposes.
The money earned by FMA went to the Troy Educational Foundation and will ultimately be used to help buy equipment so kids can get the physical education they need, Cooke said.
National organizations such as the American Heart Association, American Diabetes Association and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend 150 minutes of physical education every week for children in elementary school and 225 minutes a week for middle through high school.
But it’s not always easy to get every child interested in physical activities, especially kids who don’t come by sports or activity as easily as others. Having a variety of equipment for all levels can help students become more interested in their own physical fitness.
So, it seemed like a natural fit for FMA to team up with physical education in the schools in their community, Cooke said.
For their first attempt at a Kick-a-Thon, things went pretty well. A dozen or so kids and teens set kicking goals for themselves and raised money based on the number of kicks they would perform — non-stop.
Kids between 4 and 6 years old set their goal at 200 kicks; between 7 and 12 years at 400 kicks; and ages 13 and up did 700 kicks.
Everyone made it through the challenge with fantastic spirits, Cooke said. And the only ones crying were the adults and teens holding the kicking targets, he laughed.
There were also great raffle prizes, including White Sox and Slammers tickets and gift cards to places like Best Buy and Game Stop, among others.
At the end of the Kick-a-Thon, all participants got to enjoy hot dogs, chips and soft drinks.
“Our (martial arts) school promotes being more fit. One way to help kids would be in the programs in local schools,” he said. “We wanted to make sure the money went for athletic programs for the whole school and for all athletic ranges of kids.”
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