A successful and impressive ‘Healthy Challenge’ at CVE

  • Written by Leanne Christensen, RSD

Fifth grade students Andrea Pitts and Jenna Holt practice flossing. Courtesy photo.
Every year during the month of October, Cedarcrest High School health teacher Peggy Filer promotes a “Healthy Challenge” program, in which she encourages all Riverview staff, students and families to set healthy goals and track their progress on the road to better health.

This year one of the first groups to accept this challenge were 5th graders at Cherry Valley Elementary.  In all (it was a voluntary program) 85 5th graders were eager to participate and encouraged their families to as well. Their floss their teeth each and every day from October 3rd through October 28th.

Teacher Jennifer Santamaria was proud to report that the students kept track of their success on a daily graph and were thrilled with their accomplishment.Students also completed some basic research about flossing, and learned that it not only helps to prevent cavities, but gum disease too.  All of the needed dental floss was donated by local dentist, Dr. Sam Castillo of the Duvall Dental Center.

Students reported that before their flossing challenge, they had completed a survey and found that on average 23 (out of 85) 5th graders flossed their teeth daily, which is only 27 percent. However, during the challenge when the stats came in,  an average of 65 students flossed their teeth each day, increasing the average to 76 percent of students.

Here are a few comments/testimonials from the Cherry Valley participants:

“I think that I am going to floss more now because my gums stopped bleeding when I floss,” said Jage Spear from Mr. Nakagami’s class.

“I think that it (the flossing challenge) got most people to floss and it gave me more graphing experience too, and I flossed more than I used to. I also noticed that my breath smelled better,” shared Megan Reid from Mrs. Santamaria’s class.

Diana Chalakova, also from Mrs. Santamaria’s class, added, “My little brother has been flossing too!”

Needless to say the Healthy Challenge program was a complete and healthy success at Cherry Valley.

Mrs. Santamaria will be working with the students checking in once a month to see if the flossing habit is holding on.

After hearing the outcome of the “flossing challenge” from Cherry Valley, CHS health teacher Peggy Filer commented, “Learning of the 5th graders’ results from Mrs. Santamaria makes my heart sing! It is wonderful that the students are starting this important habit while they are still so young.  People of all ages can change their behavior with planning and support. Watching kids realize they have a lot of control over their health is the best part of my job.”

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