The Cooper Institute

Founded in 1970 by the "Father of Aerobics"
Kenneth H. Cooper MD, MPH


Super Saturday/Super Sabado at Bukhair Elementary

RICHARDSON, TX - Excellent weather provided for a ideal morning of physical activity and health education at Carolyn G. Bukhair Elementary School in the Richardson Independent School District located at 13900 Maham Road, Dallas, Texas for more than 400 attendees. Generously underwritten by CENTEX, collaborating partners included The Northwood Woman's Club (NWC), United States Department of Agriculture Food & Nutrition Service (USDA), U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), North Texas Food Bank, The Cooper Institute, and Central Market. Participants were Bukhair 3rd and 4th graders and their families, who enjoyed a 1-mile walk, bilingual (Spanish and English) health education sessions, and a wonderful donated lunch from Central Market.

The morning began with volunteer, participant, and childcare registration. Thanks in part to CENTEX's generosity and Bukhair teachers/staff, there was ample childcare personnel for more than 90 2- to 5-year-olds. Childcare activities included reading and "recess" on the playground. Meanwhile, 3rd and 4th graders and their parents anticipated the 1-mile walk around Bukhair's beautiful campus as Mustang the Mascot got everyone revved up for a healthy dose of physical activity. Led by NWC volunteer team leaders, Bukhair 3rd and 4th graders jump started their morning with a one-mile walk by wlaking three laps around the school, followed by a snack of popcorn, granola bars and water.

After the walk, parents joined one of two education sessions, while 3rd and 4th graders attended a single session. Many of Bukhair's parents are Spanish speakers, so bilingual health educator Maria Velasco's (FDA) presentation, Preparando a Nuestras Familias Para un Futuro Saludable (Preparing our Families for a Healthy Future) gave an audience of almost 100 Bukhair parents exposure to label-reading, smart food options, and overall healthy lifestyle choices.

Gina Cortese-Shipley, one of our very own Education Instructors and an exercise physiologist by training, shared an English presentation, Motivating Children Toward Being Active, with Bukhair parents containing top-notch Cooper content over appropriate physical activity levels and behaviors for children. The 3rd and 4th grade Bukhair students benefited from a dynamic presentation by registered dietitian Richard Burley (USDA) and colleague Shannon Jones (USDA), Power Up with Healthy Foods, complete with fun food models and activities to illustrate why smart food choices are important for kids' health.

Once the bilingual educational programming ended, the entire group reunited in the cafeteria for a pedometer demonstration in English and Spanish by Cooper Development Associate Anissa Carbajal-Diaz and closing remarks. Appetites were strong after the morning's activities, and Super Saturday/Super Sabado staff served 500 adult and child box lunches graciously donated by Central Market. Partnership makes good preventive public health possible, and Super Saturday/Super Sabado was a hallmark event for The Cooper Institute's expanding endeavors of research and education at the grass roots level in the Dallas community and beyond.