Ninja-style fitness 

Students learn the benefits of healthy living with the help of a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle.

June 15, 2009

The students at Pershing East Magnet School, 3113 S. Rhodes, had a very special visitor on Thursday, May 21.


The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (TMNT), partnered with the After-School All-Stars (ASAS) Chicago program to teach the importance of regular physical activity to approximately 125 students in grades K-3. Along the way, the students learned this important lesson: Although physical activity may seem like a lot of work, it can also be a lot of fun.


ASAS requires that all program sites incorporate health and fitness into their after-school activities. The partnership with the TMNTs gave students a chance to stay active for at least 60 minutes, the amount of time recommended by the National Association of Sport & Physical Fitness. The association said that an hour of physical activity every day gets muscles moving; heart rate elevated, and contributes to bone development.


Students definitely got their recommended dosage of physical activity that day as they spent the afternoon outside running, jumping, and practicing Taekwondo moves, led by TMNT Michelangelo along with instructors from the Chicago ATA Black Belt Academy.


The TMNTs, who are celebrating their 25th anniversary this year, also let students board their Cowabunga Van (a replica of the van used in the movie), which was filled with artifacts and memorabilia. After the physical activity portion of the day, the students went back inside to watch an exclusive screening of the new TMNT movie. During the screening, the students each received TMNT souvenirs and were treated to a TMNT-style pizza party, with pizza and drinks donated by Chicago’s Punky’s Pizza and Pasta.


After-School All-Stars is a national program in 13 cities, including Chicago. It provides after-school and out-of-school programs for at-risk youth. Chicago Public Schools has the program’s largest site, serving about 38,000 students.


Learn more about After-School All-Stars.




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