by Steven Wright
A new year and a new you. At least that’s the plan, right?
While many have embraced the New Year and are holding true to their resolutions, some of us are still writing “2014” on our letters and checks.
This year, Kristine O’Brien wants to give your New Year’s resolution a jump-start. Her newly launched Fire Up Your Feet program is designed to help all age groups stay active through the long winter months.
The local initiative promotes healthy living and a physically active lifestyle by showing kids, families and adults a wide variety of fun activities and classes they can join. As Community Education director for the Sartell-St. Stephen school district, O’Brien’s goal is to provide enrichment, recreation and lifelong learning opportunities to members of the community.
O’Brien started her position in July 2014 and is already making huge strides in improving the community and giving Sartell plenty to do. Everything from yoga to basketball and Tai Chi to ballroom dancing are available through her new program.
“We thought Fire Up Your Feet would be a great way to get people to recognize some of the programs we have,” O’Brien said. “There are adult classes that offer belly dancing and yoga classes that everyone can be a part of.”
One unique class called Sabre Ninja Warrior will have kids competing in various challenges and testing their speed on a fun obstacle course.
O’Brien was also able to secure a grant from the Minnesota Department of Health to provide funding to purchase snowshoes. She hopes to hold an afternoon program to help kids learn snowshoeing for open-snowshoeing classes on Saturdays.
“I figure if there’s nine months of snow, we might as well do something outside,” O’Brien joked. “Especially in the winter when you’re cooped up and have cabin fever.”
Fire Up Your Feet will provide after-school classes for children, an open gym on Saturdays and a new parent/child class for ages 3-5, all centered around physical activity and exercise.
O’Brien’s aim is to have the school readily available for families to come and use.
“Whether that’s an after-school class or open gym, we’re trying to find some avenues for people to get out of their house,” she said. “We want to promote activity in a fun, creative way at a price parents can afford. If you’re on the fence, I would have you show up and try it for one day. We have activities where you can make a commitment to just one day a week,” O’Brien added.
Fire Up Your Feet is still in its infancy, but O’Brien hopes to have the program expand into the summer as interest and involvement grow.
The newest edition of the Community Education Catalog, mailed on Jan. 5, outlines the dates and prices for all upcoming activities.
For more information or to register for an activity, call the Community Education office at 320-253-4036.