The University of Evansville men’s soccer team and ProRehab, a private physical therapy practice, teamed up to address childhood health and wellness at the local level with the Healthy Bodies, Healthy Minds program. The successful program ran from February 1 to April 15, and helped over 500 students in the Evansville area complete goals in eating healthier foods, exercising, and reading.
“We are very proud of this program, as we feel that it’s going a long way towards helping our city shed its image as ‘the nation’s most obese city,’” said Head Coach Mike Jacobs. “We did a number of visits with elementary school students this spring, including Scott Elementary School, Oak Hill Elementary School, Corpus Christi Elementary School, St. Benedict’s Elementary School and Newburgh Elementary School.
“The teachers and students that participated were really engaged, and it’s been a great opportunity for our own players to be involved in giving back and sharing with our local community.”
The Healthy Bodies, Healthy Minds program is a by-product of the successful reading program, Score With The Aces, which is also the result of a collaborative effort between ProRehab and the University of Evansville. The Healthy Bodies, Healthy Minds program fits into school wellness programming and creates a user-friendly approach for teaching healthy lifestyle strategies to elementary school students.
During the three-month-long program, students were rewarded for reaching daily goals that related to diet, exercise, and reading. Meeting specific goals offered unique prizes: members of the Aces visited the classroom to discuss good lifestyle habits; students received Healthy Bodies, Healthy Minds t-shirts; and students were able to participate in healthy lifestyle activities with Aces players and staff at their respective schools.
“The first Healthy Bodies, Healthy Minds program was met with resounding success,” states Andrea Baumann, ProRehab Physical Therapist and co-owner.
“Students were energized by reaching goals and will now be able to make healthier decisions in the future. We hope to make this an annual event and include even more students next year to continue to spread wellness throughout Evansville and beyond.”