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Local kids’ lives enriched by BAM, GOTC

By Rebecca Herman
“Extracurricular activities are a necessity to enrich the academic experience and personal lives of our students.” This quote by Johnson County High School counselor, Priscilla Davis, embodies what the Johnson County Schools Office of Coordinated School Health is trying to accomplish with the elementary and middle school students of Johnson County.
Amanda Mullins and Molly Blackwell, both with Coordinated School Health, have been working diligently in the school system to build up two health based afterschool programs. Boys Actively Moving (BAM) and Girls on the GO (GOTG) are ten-week programs that meet once a week for one hour. Each elementary school and the middle school have a program. These meeting are led by teachers, parent and student volunteers, and deputies from the Johnson County Sherriff’s department. These volunteers are not compensated and are helping “out of the goodness of their hearts.” BAM is currently only meeting in the fall and GOTG meets in the fall and spring.
BAM is intended for third-sixth grade boys and GOTG is for third-eighth grade girls. The goal of BAM and GOTG is to build positive relationships and environments, learn team building, and encourage physical activity. Each school has a health curriculum that is “grade appropriate” and covers topics such as tobacco education and dealing with anger. At the meetings, students can learn a dance routine, have 20 minutes of physical activity, complete a craft, eat a healthy snack, hear a guest speaker and participate in small talk discussions.
Club membership is $15 and this amount guarantees students with t-shirt, water bottle, and a medal for completion of the 5K race at the end of the ten weeks. BAM currently has 86 members and GOTG has 122.
Before the race, GOTG held an essay contest. The topic was “How has GOTG encouraged you to make healthy choices and be a leader?” The winners received a new pair of running shoes. Winners were Trinity Arnold, Mountain City; Manesa Slemp, RCE; Asia Pennington, Laurel; Katelyn Lawson, Doe; and Taylor Parsons, JCMS.
For the rest of the story pick up a copy of this week's Tomahawk.