The Department of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Leisure Studies is the Department of the Month for February.
Members of the faculty have conducted a variety of outstanding projects that not only serve the citizens/youth of Central Nebraska but also support UNK student recruitment activities.
Among those programs are:
National Youth Sports Program – This program brought more than 400 Central Nebraska youth, ages 10-16, to the UNK campus for five weeks of sports, math, science, drug education, self-esteem building and career education. Ninety percent of these youth meet federal poverty guidelines. The program, funded by two federal grants, is directed by Dr. Nita Unruh.
Access to Higher Education Grant – Sam Lopez, who directs this program, and his team traveled across Western and Central Nebraska in addition to bringing minority youth to the campus last summer. Through a variety of activities, they hope to increase the odds that minority youth in Central Nebraska will attend a college or university. This is the second year for this federally funded project.
Project Play – Dr. Kate Heelan, project director, and a group of undergraduate exercise science students, funded by a modest Research Services Council grant, are investigating the interplay between the lack of physical activity and the prevalence of obesity in youth, ages 4-7.
Nebraska On the Move (NOM) – Renee Steinkruger, project coordinator, has developed and run a variety of successful activities, as well as assisted with related projects, including Walk Out on Your Job and Kids Fitness and Nutrition Day. She helped coordinate the Walk Out on Your Job event.
-Through a grant from The Partnership to Promote Healthy
Eating and Active Living, UNK is a state affiliate of the
America On the Move program. Since March 2004, more than 23,000 Nebraskans have registered for the program and taken the initial step in changing their behaviors by increasing daily activity and cutting calories.
- In October, NOM hosted the first Kids Fitness and Nutrition Day at UNK. More than 500 Buffalo County fourth graders, their parents and their teachers spent the day taking part in 14 physical activity stations and five nutrition stations. Nearly 100 student and community volunteers assisted with the event.
Walking School Bus Program – Dr. Kate Heelan, through a grant from the American Heart Association, is conducting the Walking School Bus Approach to Increasing Physical Activity Among Elementary School Children. Three Kearney schools and 240 children are involved in the program. In addition 25 college students serve as Walking School Bus Leaders and four graduate students help coordinate the program.
Human Performance Lab – The lab, which is home to the UNK Employee Health and Wellness Program and the Adult Fitness Program, is directed by Dr. Kate Heelan. Both programs are designed to help UNK faculty and staff become more health conscious while providing students with an opportunity to gain first-hand experience in fitness assessment, exercise prescription and personal training.
For their service to youth and adults across Central and Western Nebraska, the Department of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Leisure Studies has been named the Department of the Month for February.
Thank you to the sponsors of the Department of the Month: UNK Athletic Department and Staff Senate.