ARMA — Family Fitness Night, the night where Northeast students and their families learned Karate, line danced, practiced yoga and had a glow dance party. 

For the past two years, Northeast Elementary School and Northeast Junior High have hosted Family Fitness Night as part of their Kansas Education System Accreditation (KESA). Through conversation with staff, it was decided that one of the goals of the schools is to have more family engagement, Junior High Principal Terry Cleland said. 

“Really, our goal is to have their families at the school for a fun night of activity,” Cleland said. 

This year they had quite the turnout, Cleland said, 90 students and their families gathered in the elementary school’s gym for a night of fun on Friday. 

“It’s a good feeling to see families interact together and have fun,” Cleland said. “We see a different side of students and parents in a relaxed atmosphere.” 

Cleland said it also helps the parents see a different side of the teachers. Cleland, among many of the other teachers also joined in on the fun. 

Stations were set up with a passport for each student, to be signed off by staff members for a chance to win door prizes. Activities included modified sports such as balloon basketball. The evening also included stress relief activities such as yoga, led by Kriztena Graham, and making stress balls out of a balloon and rice. There were also blood pressure checks by Jim Presley of Medicalodge. 

Cleland said the students were pretty thrilled with the Karate, led by Joseph Gregory and his volunteers. The “highlight of the night” was scooter bobsled, where students raced through a course on top of mats placed on gym scooters, Cleland said. 

The students and their families also tried out line dancing led by Tami Burt who is also a para at Northeast and a Pittsburg State University Student who is majoring in dance. 

High school basketball students came to the event to help as volunteers, which Cleland said was “cool” for the younger children. The whole evening was planned with the help of Physical Education Teachers Shane Wade and Karl Wicker and School Counselor Bev Presley, Cleland said, applauding their efforts.