Area students and staff celebrated healthy lifestyles as they were honored for being active and eating right at the Lycoming County Fitness Challenge Achievements and Awards Ceremony held March 27 at Pennsylvania College of Technology's LeJeune Chef.
"You're here for a reason - eat healthy, stay active all the time and be positive," said Mike Cillo, chairman of the Fitness Challenge Board.
The top three students in fitness points were given awards at the ceremony, which aimed to encourage exercise and making the right decisions while eating. The competition - which is in its sixth year - challenged students to see how much exercise time they could log and fruit and vegetables they could eat in a little over a month.
Student volunteers put wraps on plates for their peers and other attendees of the Lycoming County Health Improvement Coalition’s Achievements and Awards ceremony held at Pennsylvania College of Technology’s LeJeune Chef on March 27. From left are Emily Hennigan, of South Williamsport; Owen Berry, of Hepburn Lycoming Elementary; and Max Ferguson, of Jersey Shore Elementary.
Abraham Cook, a student at Stevens Elementary School, checks out his healthy wrap sample on a toothpick. After a few bites, he exclaimed, “This is really good!”
"This year we broke all records," said Kathie Sinibaldi, outreach director of the Lycoming County Health Improvement Coalition.
The challenge had 7,300 participants who racked up 4,225,721 minutes of exercise from Jan. 9 to Feb. 19. During the same time, students also consumed 148,043 servings of fruit and vegetables.
While students who earned the most points were given awards, the coalition also honored a student who fully embraced a healthy lifestyle.
Winners rewarded at Fitness Challenge
By JOSEPH STENDER
The Lycoming County Fitness Challenge encourages students to make the change to a healthy lifestyle.
Students gained a fitness point for each minute of exercise and serving of fruits and vegetables they recorded from Jan. 9 to Feb. 19.
"I think the younger you get them, the more they'll take it through life," said Kathie Sinibaldi, outreach coordinator for the Lycoming County Health Improvement Coalition.
Fred Becker, dean of the School of Hospitality at Pennsylvania College of Technology, said the challenge allows students to look at both aspects of healthy lifestyles.
"You need to do both, not just focus on one," he said.
Winners hailed from the following school districts:
Jersey Shore Area
- Avis Elementary - Hailey Yost, Skylar Cohick and Brianna Rogers
- Jersey Shore Elementary - Selena Neff, Maxwell Ferguson and Cortni Frankhouser
- Nippenose Elementary - Mason Liddick, Ezra Miller and Arabella Fielder
- Salladasburg Elementary - Madalyn Marshall, Lincoln Lilley and Allison Panczyszyn
- Loyalsock Township Middle School - Chase McNulty, Alexa Cranmer and Laurence Van Stavoren
- Donald E. Schick Elementary -?Dominic Jennings, Summer McNulty and Alex Forti
- Montgomery Elementary - Dylan Bennett, Weston Pick and Conner Harer
- Loyalsock Valley Elementary - Edward Brown, Robert Wilson and Cael Crebs
- Lyter Elementary - Aidan O'Connor, Elijah Lucas and Lane Stutzman. The building also won the top school award.
- McCall Middle School - Nicklas Stutzman, Braden Cott and Gable Crebs
- Muncy Elementary - Gable Strickland, Ethan Gush and Joseph Whitteker
SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT aREA
- Rommelt Middle - Peter Sinibaldi, Spencer Karasek and Tyler Trojan
- Cochran Elementary - Margaret Fausnaught, Lydia Smith and Bailee Fox
- Hepburn-Lycoming Elementary - Jayda Beagle, Owen Berry and Dakota Marcusky
- Jackson Elementary - Brady Glosser, Logan Glosser and Emily Hale
Round Hills Elementary - Tanner Aderhold, Monica Boone and Jack Beattie
- Sheridan Elementary - Morgan Haines-Bertin, Sean Jensen and Joshua Bernocco
Stevens Elementary -?Naomi Cook, Emmanual Connelly-Cook and Abraham Cook
Also, from Lycoming Clinton Head Start, Talan Ditty, Madison Braunsberg and Kally Dunlap were rewarded for their hard work.
"They might not be the top number getter ... it's just someone who's decided to change their lifestyle," Sinibaldi said.
Emily Hennigan, a South Williamsport Area School District student, was given the first Impact Award. Since starting the challenge, Hennigan lost 16 pounds and plans to continue living right.
"I think it's such an amazing thing she's done," Sinibaldi said.
Before the awards ceremony, students and faculty members were given a presentation on how to make healthy meals that also taste good.
"You get a burger with mayonnaise and mustard and it just oozes not healthy," said Chef Cody Miller, who is a part of Penn College's culinary arts program.
Miller showed them how to make a grilled chicken wrap.
"This is something you can make at home with leftovers," Miller said.
Students had a choice of an herb or tomato wrap. Ingredients included lettuce, cheddar cheese, sundried tomatoes, chicken and avocados. Most students never had avocado before but Miller explained it to them as a "rich and creamy" alternative to mayonnaise.
"Mayonnaise has a fair amount of cholesterol," he told the students. "It's really just not that great for you."
With these ingredients, Miller said, students are able to get about two vegetable servings of the three to five that are recommended per a day.
Once all had the opportunity to try a sample of the wrap, the feedback was mostly positive with some on the fence on whether they liked it or not. Fred Becker, dean of the college's School of Hospitality, said though they might not have liked it, it still was a good lesson for the students to try new things.
"You're not going to like everything, but you need to taste things - you need to taste new things," he said.
"Always try something new, something different," said Miller. "You never know what you might like."
The students were reminded that they can use the same ingredients but prepare them in different ways. Miller said the possibilities are infinite.
"I think it's easy for kids to get stuck on a simple item like grilled cheese," Becker said.
"The good thing about food is there's a thousand ways to do everything," Miller said.