North Shore Montessori School launches childhood obesity strategy

 
Submitted by Carolyn Kambich
Posted11/8/2018 11:46 AM
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  • Seven-year-old Ariel Panteleeva of Arlington Heights demonstrates a pullup activity supervised by Riverwoods Montessori Teacher Freddie Madrid of Morton Grove.

    Seven-year-old Ariel Panteleeva of Arlington Heights demonstrates a pullup activity supervised by Riverwoods Montessori Teacher Freddie Madrid of Morton Grove. Courtesy of Rod Burns

  • Seven-year-old Ariel Panteleeva of Arlington Heights demonstrates a pullup activity supervised by Riverwoods Montessori Teacher Freddie Madrid of Morton Grove.

    Seven-year-old Ariel Panteleeva of Arlington Heights demonstrates a pullup activity supervised by Riverwoods Montessori Teacher Freddie Madrid of Morton Grove. Courtesy of Rod Burns

  • Seven-year-old Ariel Panteleeva of Arlington Heights demonstrates a pullup activity supervised by Riverwoods Montessori Teacher Freddie Madrid.

    Seven-year-old Ariel Panteleeva of Arlington Heights demonstrates a pullup activity supervised by Riverwoods Montessori Teacher Freddie Madrid. Courtesy of Rod Burns

Last spring, the directors of the Riverwoods Montessori School tested a strategy intended to prevent childhood obesity that was both simple and inexpensive.

"The basic idea," according to Executive Director Carolyn Kambich, along with her husband and board President Tony, "is that children who can perform at least one conventional pull up are almost never obese. And if they start young, it's easy and fun for most children to develop the ability to physically pull their own weight … to do pull ups."

In a three-month trial last spring (February through April), 12 out of 15 RMS elementary-age students successfully developed the ability to physically pull their own weight. The other three students also made documented progress toward that goal.

"And by simply maintaining the ability, which requires decent eating/exercise habits and a few minutes per week practice, these children will have established a pattern for themselves against obesity for life," Kambich said.

With last spring's results in hand, Riverwoods Montessori School directors and faculty began this fall to implement the simple strategy of the "Pull Your Own Weight Program" designed by Northern Illinois University graduate Rick Osbourne.

"The goal is for 100 percent of our students to arm themselves against obesity for life," Tony Kambich said. "We'd also like to show other schools how simple and inexpensive it can be to prevent childhood obesity and to avoid related problems."

For more information on this solution to obesity, using graduated levels of achievement with leg assistance to help build arm strength, visit m.youtube.com/watch?feature=youtu.be&v=AqbcXyqhLl8.

For information on Montessori Schools, visit www.montessori-schools.com.

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