For the second consecutive summer, the Minnesota Lynx will partner with the Minneapolis Public Schools, General Mills, The Wedge and Farmer's Hat Productions through ‘Lynx Fit,’ a five-week program designed to educate today's youth about the importance of living a healthy and active lifestyle.
With the help of Lynx players, staff and General Mills employees, the students enrolled in the summer programs at Bryn Mawr Elementary School and Seward Montessori School will learn about healthy eating, physical fitness and the importance of reading and education.
"We're honored to continue our partnership with Minneapolis Public Schools and General Mills on this wonderful and powerful program to educate youth about the importance of living a healthy and active lifestyle," said Conrad Smith, Lynx Chief Operating Officer. "Eating healthy, staying physically fit and understanding proper nutrition are all vital to living healthy and we're looking forward to educating the students of the Bryn Mawr and Seward summer programs on these essential life lessons."
"We are excited that we were able to expand the program to two of our schools this summer and we hope to add more schools next year," said Jan Braaten, MPS District Summer School Coordinator. "The main goal of the MPS summer program is to raise student achievement in reading and math through the use of engaging and fun activities. The Lynx Fit program will help us do just that with the generous support of the General Mills Foundation and the enthusiasm of the Minnesota Lynx."
"Teaming up with the Lynx to bring lessons about good food to children is an exciting breakthrough for the food co-ops. I don't think it has been done anywhere else in the country. Twin City co-ops have funded the Midwest Food Connection for 15 years and we know the lessons are engaging and effective. We applaud the Lynx organization for this commitment to children's health education," said Lindy Bannister, General Manager of the Wedge Co-op.
Throughout the five-week program, Lynx staff and players will visit each school twice a week. During the first visit, Lynx staff and General Mills employees will engage students in age-appropriate activities pertaining to one of the core values of the Lynx Fit program. Lynx players and coaches will then make follow-up visits each week to emphasize that week's message, as well as lead mini clinics and demonstrations that support the overall goals of the program.
At the beginning of the program, each student will receive a Lynx Fit workbook, which will be used to track each student's progress. The workbooks will highlight a new message each week, include fun facts about nutrition and fitness and feature games and a mini homework assignment to encourage family involvement. At the conclusion of the program, the Lynx will partner with Minneapolis Public Schools to create a "Lynx Day Festival" at both elementary schools for students; Lynx staff, players and coaches; and General Mills' employees.
Highlights of the five-week program include:
Fitness Week (July 6 - 8): General Mills employees and the Lynx Fit staff will talk to students about the benefits of an active lifestyle and physical fitness. Through fun, interactive games, Lynx players and staff will show students how they can stay active and fight incidents of obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
Read to Achieve Week (July 12 - 15): Lynx Fit staff will talk to the students about their love for reading and the importance of working hard to be a good student. Students at the "rookie" level (Grades K-1) will receive a copy of "Anna Goes Hiking," one of the books from the Bur Bur and Friends series, written by local authors JoAnne Pastel and Kakie Fitzsimmons. The authors donated these books in celebration of Read to Achieve week. The students will then hit the trails with Anna and her parents to discover the great outdoors on a nature hike. Additionally, each student will receive a ticket to the Lynx Kids Day game on Wednesday, July 14. Students at the "Pro" and "All Star" level will be reading "Ramona & Beezus."
Nutrition Week (July 19 - 22): Lynx staff and General Mills employees will teach students healthy eating habits. This year, the Lynx have partnered with Midwest Food Connection to help students understand the nutritional benefits of eating natural foods rather than processed foods. In addition, Lynx players will teach kids how to prepare healthy snacks and encourage them to make good nutritional choices at home.
Program Wrap Up/Lynx Day (July 26): Lynx staff, players and coaches will attend a designated "Lynx Day" at Bryn Mawr and Seward. The Lynx players will discuss the importance of teamwork, motivation and setting goals. The five-week program will conclude with an outdoor festival featuring basketball clinics, interactive games and contests.
For more information on the Lynx Fit campaign and its involvement with Minneapolis Public Schools and General Mills, please visit www.lynxbasketball.com/community.