Students learn value of fitness through new program

Phoenix Academy students squatted, curled their biceps and pushed themselves to their limits Tuesday.

The students were participating in a new program during which CrossFit Strode Station owner Josh Tackett designs a set of exercises for the group to complete.

Allison Nelson, a Clark County Public Schools psychologist, said the new program is part of a grant-funded project through the Greater Clark Foundation. 

Tackett began visiting classes at the beginning of January and visits students for about an hour Monday through Thursday of each week. 

Nelson said providing students with education and training in health and physical fitness is crucial to the development of habits that promote overall well-being and a high quality of life, both physically and emotionally. 

Nelson said the program addresses overall health and well-being so students can improve confidence, increase self-efficacy, build resilience and perseverance, and enhance practical problem-solving skills.

“It is also our belief that adolescents can benefit highly from increased opportunities to establish relationships with positive role-models and experience leadership opportunities within their community,” Nelson said in an email.

The program provides Phoenix Academy students an opportunity to receive a level of health and physical fitness instruction that is not readily accessible to them. 

In addition to physical fitness training, the program also embeds components of goal-setting and soft skill practices. 

Through the grant, the project also purchased equipment such as medicine balls, kettlebells and sandbags for Phoenix Academy. 

In addition to the collaboration between Phoenix Academy and CrossFit Strode Station, KORT Physical Therapy is also involved in the project as they are providing functional movement screens as a means of assessing growth and progress for the students.

Nelson said the goal of the program is to provide students with resources and training that can positively impact the mental, physical and social aspects of their lives and the community as a whole.

“The agencies and individuals involved in this project are passionate about improving the health and wellness of students within our community, and we recognize many of the barriers that our at-risk students face in regards to accessibility and support to optimize their well-being and daily functioning,” Nelson said. 

About Lashana Harney

Lashana Harney is a reporter for The Winchester Sun. Her beats include schools and education, business and commerce, Winchester Municipal Utilities and other news. To contact her, email lashana.harney@winchestersun.com or call 859-759-0015.

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