Sixth grade students aim for healthier lives

CALUMET, Mich. (WLUC) - Sixth grade students at Washington Middle School in Calumet are accepting the challenge to live a healthier lifestyle.

Across the state of Michigan, many have noticed a disturbing trend.

"Kids are moving less and not mindfully eating,” said WMS health and physical education teacher Joni Carlson. “So they're on their phones, their tablets, and they're randomly eating different things."

Washington Middle School recently won a grant from the University of Michigan's Project Healthy Schools to help address this issue. They began their semester of healthy changes Tuesday during a special assembly.

"We're going to try to get the kids fired up about this challenge that we're putting in front of them, and we're trying to give them some new lessons that they can learn and take home for them for life,” said WMS principal Michael Steber. “We're hoping to make a difference in their futures."

Throughout the semester, they'll have healthy breakfast in their classrooms, they'll discuss other healthy eating habits, and they'll try some new exercises and stretches. But teachers have given their students another challenge.

"We are challenging the students to put the phones down, put the tablets down,” said Carlson. “So less screen time, and we're going to implement that in the sixth grade curriculum."

Teachers hope that these lessons will stick with the students.

"Well we're trying to teach them lifelong activities so when they get older they can still do a lot of these things and be healthy adults," said Carlson.

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