Fit Kid: Summit County preschoolers move to improve and get twice as strong |

Fit Kid: Summit County preschoolers move to improve and get twice as strong

Scott Liebler
Special to the Daily

What do all star athletes have in common with some Summit County preschool children? They began building a foundation of strength, balance, endurance and coordination in their early childhood.

About 150 children in various Summit County preschool programs gained two times the strength and endurance as the result of their participation in the Move to Improve program conducted this last school year. This program was funded by a grant from the Summit Foundation through Early Childhood Options.

From October 2010 through May 2011, Scott Liebler, creator of the Move to Improve program, provided weekly classes to exercise with the children and train teachers in a curriculum of progressive developmental exercise to build physical fitness, music comprehension and speaking abilities. Children and teachers from the Dillon Valley Elementary, Silverthorne Elementary, Frisco Elementary, Upper Blue Elementary, Lake Dillon, Summit Cove and Summit County preschools participated in the training.

Four pre- and post-test evaluations were taken to determine improvements in arm, leg and cardiovascular strength. These four evaluations included:

Arm strength – How many times could a child lift their arms up and down as if lifting weights.

Leg strength – How many times could they lift their straight legs up and down while lying on their backs.

Endurance and leg strength – How many times could a child jump back and forth a cross a line.

Endurance run – How many times could a child run back and forth in a 10-yard area.

Teachers’ evaluations and observations of the program indicated that this training had some profound effects on some children with motor, social, learning and behavior challenges. Every teacher had commented on how even the shyest children were brought out of their shell and increased their social skills and enthusiasm to keep moving and improving!

Scott Liebler is the founder of Move to Improve and Funsical Fitness for early childhood development. Move to Improve is a program sponsored by Summit Head Start, Early Childhood Options and funded by the Summit Foundation. For more information on this program call (303) 902-4985 or visit

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