University to host kickoff event for KidFit program

Huntington, Ind.—Huntington University’s Department of Kinesiology and Recreation Management will host a kickoff event for Northwest Elementary School’s new KidFit program on Aug. 22.

“KidFit is designed to get students moving before the academic classroom begins,” said Erin Holloway, physical education teacher for Northwest. “Studies show that exercising before academics wakes up the brain by creating more blood flow to the brain. Students who exercise on a regular basis before school are more alert, have a quicker response time and are engaged in classroom learning.”

Northwest adapted a program from Naperville Central High School in Illinois to fit its students’ needs. For information about Naperville’s program, log on to

Northwest will offer KidFit on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 8 a.m. to 8:45 a.m. beginning Aug. 29. The Huntington University Department of Kinesiology and Recreation Management and intern Nick Johnson, a senior exercise science major from Huntington, Ind., will work with the students and collaborate with Northwest fourth and fifth grade teachers.

In addition, Joanne Green, the experiential learning coordinator for the university’s Enterprise Resource Center, has served as an organizer and coordinator for KidFit. Dr. Matthew Ruiz, assistant professor of exercise science, is the lead investigator for the KidFit research.

The KidFit program is a pilot program for the Huntington County Community School Corporation. Coach’s Connection, Shuttleworth, and Huntington University have offered KidFit participants exercise clothing and a new pair of New Balance running shoes. The outfits will stay at school and will be washed weekly. At the end of the school year, children can take the clothing and shoes home.

Parkview Huntington Hospital donated $1,500 from its community benefit fund to the KidFit program for the purchase of two treadmills and a recumbent bike. The hospital regularly supports initiatives that meet its mission to improve the health of the community.

Friday, Aug. 22

10:15 a.m.: Northwest students arrive at Huntington University

10:30 a.m.: Cheri Daniels, Indiana’s First Lady, to arrive on campus

10:35 a.m.: Welcome by Huntington University President Dr. G. Blair Dowden

10:40 a.m.: Mrs. Daniels to address students (introduction by Tracey Shafer)

10:55 a.m.: Begin pre-testing

Timed mile

Strength testing

Flexibility testing

Height and weight measurements

Noon: Lunch in the Habecker Dining Commons


All events will take place on the track behind the university’s Merillat Complex for Physical Education and Recreation. In the event of inclement weather, events will take place in the MCPER field house.

*Note: The best time for photos would be after 10:30 a.m.

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Huntington University is a comprehensive Christian college of the liberal arts offering graduate and undergraduate programs in more than 70 academic concentrations. U.S.News & World Report ranks Huntington among the best colleges in the Midwest. Founded in 1897 by the Church of the United Brethren in Christ, Huntington University is located on a contemporary, lakeside campus in northeast Indiana. The University is a member of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU).  


Heather Barkley
Director of Communications
Joanne Green
Sports Information Director