By: Alicia Wilson and NWI Staff

Bronson Battle Creek has truly embraced workplace wellness for their facility and students using a new program. Operation Fit is a program developed by the collaborative efforts of Bronson Battle Creek, Battle Creek Community Foundation, Regional Health Alliance, community agencies, organizations, and the philanthropic community working towards decreasing the rates of childhood obesity in the Battle Creek Area.

Key elements of Operation Fit are: increase physical activity, improve nutrition and lunchroom environment, and create supportive environments through policies, education, communication, and parent support.

Operation Fit is used within eight Battle Creek elementary schools. In the 2018-2019 school year, this organization helped their Board of Education implement the 24/7 Tobacco Policy, and their partnership with The Fire Hub Food Cart Program helped to increase schools aided from three to seven, adding over thirty-thousand pounds of fresh fruits and vegetables and two-thousand cases of healthy snacks that were sent home weekly to students and their families.

The program also features a fitness initiative called “Morning Movement”, lead by a fitness coordinator, that consists of three-to-five minutes of stretching, cardio, and cool down, built to get the student’s bodies and brains ready for learning that day. Over three quarters of their teachers participate in Morning Movement and their annual report states that 92.9% of their students are more focused after movement. During lunch recess, each of the school’s Lunch Supervisors are trained by fitness personnel on Active Recess principles. In addition, the school’s wellness participation increased by 10%, this past year.

Operation Fit develops a consistent message throughout a child’s life, with the idea that the school environment should be a positive influence in the development of behavior leading to a healthy lifestyle. Operation Fit engages parents to continue the message and lifestyle at home, with the main goal outcome of the Operation Fit program being to increase time of physical activity, improve nutritional habits, and develop a greater knowledge of healthy lifestyles for students and their families in Calhoun County.

To see how Operation Fit carries out their mission and vision, visit their Facebook page here.

Alicia Wilson Michigan Wellness CouncilAlicia Wilson is the Senior Vice President of Best and Brightest Programs. She has 15 years of leadership experience managing, budgeting, and contract negotiations, with an emphasis on increasing profitability. Previous experiences include government constituent work and non-profit direction with an emphasis on philanthropy.