Partnership brings results

Published 10:02 pm Friday, March 8, 2019

We’re big fans of a new partnership between the Suffolk Family YMCA and Suffolk Public Schools that brings trainers into schools to work with school division staff.

The program meets the staff right where they are, both literally by coming to the school and figuratively by leading them in exercises that are doable, like walking and Zumba and calisthenics.

The partnership started about a year ago with the bus drivers, who meet from 11 a.m. to noon twice a week and then receive lunch at King’s Fork High School. This year, it has grown to include teachers at seven schools, who work out at their own school.


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During a recent workout for bus drivers at KFHS’s auditorium, they got a soundtrack provided by the school’s orchestra practicing for an upcoming event. The workouts take place wherever they can find space, and everybody adapts.

Last year, 90 participants lost a combined 125 pounds during the year. With the physically, mentally and emotionally demanding jobs that teachers and bus drivers have, this outlet gives them a way to blow off steam and get physically fit at the same time.

It’s all part of the school division’s wellness program, through which staff members can earn extra money at the end of the year as well as other small gifts throughout the year. In addition to the workouts, staff can participate in a biometrics screening, a smoking cessation program, a self-health assessment and even a personal budgeting program.

This wellness program may cost the school division some money for the incentives but likely saves much in the long run, helping to keep burgeoning health care costs at bay and boosting employee morale.

We’re appreciative of the Suffolk Family YMCA providing this program and the partnership with the school division. We anticipate that it will pay dividends.