Did you know that Chickering Elementary School has been running the program known as Fit & Lit for eleven years? Fit & Lit encourages kids to read and exercise more by rewarding every log filled out with a new charm for their necklace. Each student receives a necklace in kindergarten. Some fifth graders have up to 100 charms!
This year, at the kick-off Fit and Lit assembly, it was announced that there would be two teams. Team 1 consisted of grades 1, 3, and 5. Team 2 was Pre-K, K, 2nd grade and 4th grade. Instead of having the teams travel from the Earth to the moon, the teams were asked to circumnavigate the Earth. However, the school also had fun at the assembly because of the fit and the lit they did there. Based on a video, 4th and 5th graders led a version of Watch Me (Whip/Nae Nae) with incorporated exercises. Some other students also read silly poems to the school.
We created a survey for 3rd, 4th and 5th graders wondering what their opinions were about Fit and Lit. 35% responded. When asked if they participated in this event, a large quantity of the 35% said yes, most of which included that they like it because they received charms.
However, when interviewed about their suggestions for Fit and Lit, many said that the teams were not fair, and that charms need to be easier to obtain. We also inquired if they liked Fit and Lit, and the majority said yes, but a surprisingly large number said “50/50”.
Along with a student survey, we also formed a questionnaire for the teachers, staff and administration asking similar questions. 52% responded. Surprisingly, every single responder liked Fit and Lit, although not everyone participated. One teacher shared,
“It encourages the school to work together as a team towards a shared goal. I also believe that we should value exercising our bodies and our minds. It makes everyone focus on remembering to read and exercise.”
Nevertheless, they had many suggestions, including some that would help kids. Such as, “Make it more motivating for the fifth graders” and “Reduce the amount of minutes to earn charms for many children it takes two or more weeks to earn a charm”.
Although the purpose of Fit and Lit was to read and exercise, there was still a little competition between the teams. Team 1 ended up with 29.4 times around the Earth, and Team 2 finished with 29.1. It was a close race, but Team 1 secured victory.
There was an even more competitive atmosphere throughout the fifth grade, though. Whichever class in fifth grade ended up with the most minutes at the end of Fit and Lit got to play a kickball game against the staff team. Finally, when this fun Chickering tradition concluded, Mrs. Chiavarini’s class ended up victorious in the fifth grade competition.
After looking at every opinion from our surveys, it was clear that almost every interviewee loved Fit and Lit, and made it known that this Chickering custom is fun for all. Even though we did not have a concluding assembly to announce the winners, there was an exciting celebration to wrap Fit and Lit up – the annual Read Your Heart Out Day! After donning their pajamas and snuggling in fluffy blankets with soft stuffed animals, every student in the school set off on a fun reading mission. So from beginning to end, Fit and Lit was certainly a success!
Reported by Charlie T., Anissa, and Abby