The Cooper Institute

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


2nd Annual Super Saturday/Super Sábado at Bukhair Elementary School

Super Saturday Heroes

RICHARDSON, TX - Saturday, April 26th 2007, provided perfect weather for a 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 a total of 483 attendees. Generously underwritten by CENTEX, collaborating partners included The Northwood Woman’s Club (NWC), The Cooper Institute, Central Market, U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the North Texas Food Bank. Participants were Bukhair 3rd and 4th graders and their families, who enjoyed bilingual (Spanish and English) interactive health education sessions, a 1-mile walk, 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 80 youngsters. Meanwhile, 3rd and 4th graders and their parents anticipated the 1-mile walk around Bukhair as they rotated through a total of three different sessions focusing on physical activity, nutrition, and health and wellness. Rotated and kept on track by great NWC volunteer effort, Bukhair 3rd and 4th graders began the morning in their respective sessions, followed by a snack of popcorn and water.

Before the snack, parents joined one of five different education sessions, (three offerings in Spanish, two in English), while the students attended three different sessions. Many of Bukhair’s parents are Spanish speakers, so bilingual health educator Maria Velasco’s (FDA) presentation gave an audience of almost 100 Bukhair parents exposure to food label-reading, smart food options, and overall healthy lifestyle choices. Gisella Olivo Whittington (Cooper Wellness Program) got Spanish-speaking parents up and moving with music and dancing, and Bukhair’s very own Nurse Liz Yanez educated the Spanish-speaking parents on healthy lifestyle and nutrition choices .

Gina Cortese-Shipley, a Cooper Institute Education Instructor and exercise physiologist by training, shared a presentation, Small Steps to Reducing Sedentary Behaviors, with English-speaking Bukhair parents, which contained top-notch Cooper Institute content over appropriate physical activity levels and behaviors for children and families. Amy Lopez, a registered dietitian representing the North Texas Food Bank, talked about nutrition and smart eating choices, engaging the English speaking parents to talk about their current habits and food choices.

The 3rd and 4th grade Bukhair students benefited from three dynamic presentations spread over an hour-and-a-half. Registered dietitian Richard Burley used fun food models and activities to illustrate why smart food choices are important for kids’ health. Northwood Woman’s Club volunteers led students through 8 different physical activity stations and the third session involved a really fun activity - jump rope! Thanks to CENTEX, each 3rd and 4th grade Bukhair student received a jump rope, and were able to practice immediately after watching a jump rope demonstration by Bukhair’s very own jump rope team.

Once the educational programming ended, the entire group reunited in the cafeteria for a popcorn snack and event remarks. Appetites were strong after the morning’s activities, and the ensuing one-mile walk around the school prepped everyone’s lunchtime appetite for 500 delicious - and donated - box lunches from Central Market. Partnerships make good preventive public health possible, and for a second year in a row The Cooper Institute was proud to be a part of the 2nd Annual Super Saturday/Super Sábado, a grass roots event in the Dallas/Richardson community.