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Moreno P.E. program adds a Wii bit of technology
by Sarah Taylor
Sep 05, 2010 | 2536 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Moreno Middle School has received the Texas Fitness Now grant, which includes 26 Nintendo Wiis for use in P.E. class. The Wii Fit program is also included, which allows students to track their fitness progress. In the photo, seventh-graders Bryanna Villarreal, left, and Dalton Pinney play a boxing game.
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P.E. is about to get a little more high-tech at Moreno Middle School.

The school has just received 26 Nintendo Wiis, including the Wii Fit program and equipment, as part of the Texas Fitness Now grant. The grant included 26 TV sets and 13 carts (two Wiis per cart) in addition to the Wiis.

To qualify for the grant, Moreno had to agree that students would have the equivalent of at least 30 minutes of exercise per day, which they already did. Other requirements were four semesters of P.E. for each student, conducting fitness assessments and following a wellness and nutrition policy. Moreno was already in compliance with all of these.

The Wiis will be integrated into P.E. as a fitness station to be used among other stations, such as jumping jacks. Students will have the opportunity to earn Wii time by having good participation at other stations.

“We’ve had problems with kids wanting to participate in P.E. and exercise,” said Principal Jean Blankenship. “A lot of them have a sedentary lifestyle. This will get them to like the feeling of exercise.”

As part of motivating students to become healthier, the Wii Fit program documents each student’s success and how he or she improves over time.

“It saves every kid as their own character,” said Assistant Principal Annette Sanchez. “The kids like it. They’re doing great.”

“You wouldn’t think [the Wii] would be a workout, but it is,” she added.

Blankenship said the students are excited about the new equipment. The administration hopes the students will use the programs to compete against themselves.

“We want students to be healthy. This way, we’re incorporating their world of video games with education and fitness,” the principal said.

Blankenship said the P.E. teachers are waiting on the weight room to be finished so they will have more storage space for the Wiis. Once that happens, all 26 Wiis will be up and running.

Sarah Taylor is a reporter at the Bee-Picayune and can be reached at 358-2550, ext. 122, or sarah@mysoutex.com.
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