Jog Your Mind
By Jeanette Larson
Length of Program
This program highlights exercise and sports that promote good health and fun, especially those that can be enjoyed individually, allow an individual to set personal goals, or are fun without being competitive. Many teens do not exercise or participate in sports because they will never be the stars of the team. In this program, teens participate in an exercise fair with healthy activities and hear speakers share their experiences with recreational sports. An optional activity invites teens to hold a mock newscast on sports and exercise topics.
Decorate the program room to look like a gym. Decorations might include posters on the wall that promote sporting events, exercise mats on the floor, or hanging a boxing bag from the ceiling. Bare Walls, www.barewalls.com/index/sports.html, is an on-line retailer that sells many sports-related posters, including posters from the movie Rocky. You could also use the covers from sports magazines.
Invite personal trainers, physical education instructors, and others to talk to the teens and demonstrate physical fitness equipment. Provide a table for handouts and other information that teens can take home. Serve nutritious snacks.
Display issues of teen or teen-friendly health and fitness magazines, or issues of general teen magazines, such as Seventeen, Teen Vogue, and Cosmo Girl, which feature health and fitness columns on a regular basis. Weekly Reader publishes Current Health 2, a magazine for teens. Although it is only published during the school year, each issue includes articles and information on health, nutrition, and exercise specifically for teens.
Search the scripts in the Weekly Reader web site, www.weeklyreader.com/kidsnews/knews_tresources.asp, for ones that relate to health, exercise, and sports. Download scripts to use for the newscast activity. Topics change weekly but are archived for a few weeks.
Books to Display
- How to Play Tennis by Venus Williams and Serena Williams.
- Pinned by Alfred C. Martino.
- The Right Moves: A Girl’s Guide to Getting Fit and Feeling Great by Tina Schwager.
- The Squared Circle by James Bennett.
- Um, Like... OM: A Girl Goddess's Guide to Yoga by Evan Cooper.
- Wrestling with Honor by David Klass.
Books to Booktalk
- The Boxer by Kathleen Karr.
- Fat Boy Swim by Catherine Forde.
- On the Devil's Court by Carl Dueker.
- Skeleton Key by Anthony Horowitz.
- Tangerine by Edward Bloor.
- Whale Talk by Chris Crutcher.
Games and Activities
Use appropriate scripts from Weekly Reader, www.weeklyreader.com/kidsnews/knews_tresources.asp, as a starting point to create a mock newscast. Teens read the scripts as if they are the news reporters or people being interviewed. If desired, let the teens create their own scripts for interviewing local athletes or for discussin sports of local interest.
BAM! Body and Mind, www.bam.gov, was developed by the Centers for Disease Control to help young teens make healthy life choices, including physical fitness. The “Fit 4 Life” section includes printable activity cards for a variety of sports. Other sections use sports to guide teens through peer issues, help select safety equipment, and learn to eat properly. Select some of the activity cards from the Motion Commotion Activity Cards section and print them for the teens. Allow each teen to take the personality quiz to determine what exercises and sports match their interests and then let them develop and print a personalized fitness calendar.
Invite a personal trainer, aerobics instructor, and sports instructors to participate in an exercise fair at the library. Invite yoga, Pilates, and tai-chi instructors, as well. These exercises are very popular with teens. The guests will talk about exercise safety and demonstrate exercise basics and recreational games and sports. Ask the parks and recreation department or the physical education instructors at local schools to assist with the program or provide suggestions for speakers.
Ask a nutritionist to discuss healthy eating and prepare some nutritious but delicious snacks for the teens.
If you anticipate a large number of teens will attend the exercise fair, set up “stations” for each guest. Provide space for demonstrations and informational brochures and displays so that teens can move from station to station, asking questions and learning. If space is tight and the group will not be large, schedule a series of demonstrations, allotting fifteen or twenty minutes for each guest.
Videos/DVDs to Show or Display
- Careers: Focus on Your Future. (30 minutes)
- Girl Wrestler. (53 minutes)
- Pumping Iron. (85 minutes)
- Self-Esteem: Building Strengths. (30 minutes)
- Yoga 4 Teens. (90 minutes)
- American Cheerleader.
- Current Health 2.
- Natural Health.
- Runner’s World.
- Yoga Journal.
- American Cheerleader
- Step-by-step instructions for a variety of cheers and stunts.
- Yahooligan’s Games
- Shoot hoops, play soccer, or ride the wild surf.
- Teens Health
- The “Food and Fitness” section of this comprehensive web site provides answers to questions about exercise and eating, safety tips, and sports journals.
- BAM! Body and Mind
- This web site, created by the Centers for Disease Control, gives teens and pre-teens the information they need to make healthy lifestyle choices.
- Bare Walls
- This on-line store sells sports-related posters and inexpensive prints. Search by sport or browse broad themes to find teams, venues, celebrities, and more.
- Weekly Reader
- The on-line resources include information about Weekly Reader publications, archived scripts from the Teen Kids News program, and news and trivia games.