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Reinventing the Birthday Party

Campbell Elementary School used to celebrate birthdays by having monthly parties in the cafeteria where cake and ice cream were served to all students celebrating a birthday that month. After joining the Healthy Schools Program, reinventing the school’s birthday celebrations became a high priority.

During the school wellness council’s first meeting they brainstormed new ways to celebrate birthdays but did not find the creative and healthy solution they were looking for. Then one day, head custodian Lisa Bryant made a suggestion to physical education teacher Matthew Pearch who then shared the idea with the principal who supported it wholeheartedly.

Now students at Campbell Elementary celebrate their birthdays by being physically active. Rather than heading to the cafeteria the students now head to the gym where Pearch sets up different activities such as jump ropes, hula-hoops, basketball, Dance Dance Revolution, etc. The students spend 5-10 minutes at each station before moving to the next. At the end of the period, the teachers spend time talking about healthy messages and each student gets a Campbell Elementary School water bottle and a LiveStrong wristband. Pearch said, “Students love it!”