YOUTH FITNESS, with ERNIE SACCO at WVRC
MARSHA HUNT led the Pledge, beginning first with some comments about the nice world we live in. She then took us through The Four Way Test. RICK BROUS gave the Invocation. He preceded this by telling us that Rick is short for Fredric, and in Hebrew the name is Shalom, meaning Peace. “Eternal One, Grant us Peace. Your most precious gift, and give us the will to proclaim its message to all the peoples of the earth... Bless our country, that it my always be a stronghold of Peace, and its advocate among the nations. May contentment reign within its borders, health and happiness within its homes. May the good work of Rotarians make this a smaller world, a world filled with friendship, unselfishness, and mutual respect for all peoples, a world filled with Peace, and may we say, Amen.” Good thoughts, RICK thanks. LENNY then led us in America.
We had several visitors. SUNNY was of course with LENNY, and PEGGY had her helper along. ANN SAMSON brought Linda Avarone, who is Director of Development at the Y. Special guests Brian Wheeler and Athena Jackson were with us again. This led to Birthdays, and PP BOB WESSLING led off, electing Chicago on the 8th of October. BILL EDWARDS preferred Bloomsburg, PA on the 10th. MIKE GINTZ was also happy with the 10th, but he choose Northridge. PP STEVE DAY came along in Sacramento on the 25th, and BOB THOM liked Detroit on the 30th. PP PETER MORE ended the month in Shanghai, on the 31st.
New Generations Chair DWIGHT HEIKKILA reported on our Rotaract Club. They are planning a bonfire tomorrow evening, but we were assured it was in a safe place and they need drivers, of course. Next week they will meet with the Koreatown Rotary Club and not many of us can make that statement!
We next met Marco Rucci, who is an Ambassadorial Scholar from Italy, sponsored by the Santa Monica Club. He graduated in Computer Science from the University of Bologna, and now is a Doctoral Candidate at the University of Padova, seeking his PhD in Computational Mathematics. At UCLA he is studying with Professor Dimitri Terzopoulos, subjects being 3D Computer Graphics, Computer Visions and Medical Imaging. He is also the Founder and President of a startup software company in Italy, Secoro. In his short time here so far, he has found that EVERYONE has been to Italy, or so they claim, anyway. He will be at UCLA until next December, and it sounds to YOE like he would be a great dinner guest.
Some stories appear next, the first one being a riddle; what is the difference between men and government bonds? Obviously, bonds do mature…What is the definition of shin? It’s a device for finding furniture in the dark. Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach a man to fish and he will sit in a boat drinking beer all day. Laughing stock, by the way, are cattle with a sense of humor. And finally, light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak. Enough, already…
Two completely unconnected announcements:
First, the correct telephone number of Pat Bumpas is (310)474-2368, not as shown in the Directory. Second, I had a call offering WVRC a slightly used hearing aid. If any of you know where this might be turned in, I would certainly appreciate your letting me know.
ANN SAMSON was pleased to introduce our Speaker, Ernie Sacco. Ernie has an excellent background in exercise regimens, with his Masters in Therapy, and having supervised the Cardiac Rehabilitation program at St. Johns Hospital for eight years. When that was discontinued, he moved to the WLA Family Y six years ago he is now in charge of all exercise programs, and is Asst. Director at the Y. (Besides, he has a great first name!)
Ernie began by giving us some background on childhood obesity, from a 2007-08 National Study. 17% of adolescents (2-19 years) are obese, and in during this one-year study, obesity increased from 6.5% to 19.6 %, plus raising the risk of high blood pressure, high cholesterol and type 2 diabetes. This was caused by lack of physical activity and poor diet and eating habits. In addition, in WLA public elementary schools do not have a structured physical education program.
Our Westside Y moved to fill this community need. They worked with Nora Sterry Elementary and the Brentwood Science Magnet Elementary. WVRC stepped forward with a $5,000 gift in 2008, allowing twice a week sessions at Nora Sterry and weekly sessions at Brentwood. Clear objectives were to improve student’s level of fitness, collect fitness assessment data, and show improvement, along with being sure the kids have fun at the same time. Each session began with a warm up activity, and ended with a cool down time, with muscle conditioning and skill development in the meantime.
Some of us will remember that Dr. Cooper in Texas was an aerobic pioneer, and his Institute provided the standards to be sought. For example, for 10 year old girls, 7 -15 pushups, 12-26 curl ups, and one mile run in 12:30 were the target, and for boys, 7-20 pushups, 12-24 curl ups, and a mile in 11:30. In week 2 of the program at Nora Sterry, 58% met the pushup standard, and in week 22, the figure was 74%! In the one-mile, 65% in week 2, and 77% in week 22. Results were similar at Brentwood.
While the students made improvements in cardiovascular fitness and upper-body muscle strength and endurance, a majority did not meet standards for one of more of the assessments. Thus, it was determined that two days a week for 45 minutes isn’t quite enough for school-age children they need 60 minutes a day! And of course, the Y needs more funding to conduct programs starting as early as kindergarten.
Speaking of funding, these programs are made possible through the annual support campaign of the Westside Family YMCA, and grants from WVRC and the Queen of Angels Foundation. More funding literally translates into more impact the Y can make with younger children. And of course, Rotarians are invited and always welcome to visit the program currently running at Nora Sterry Elementary School, which is located two blocks south of Santa Monica Blvd on Sawtelle Blvd.
And now, speaking as YOE, I’d like to close with this quote from Melissa, a fifth grader at Nora Sterry, if I may. “Last year, I learned how to jump in the water, and I learned to float backwards. I had never been in a pool before. I was really scared, but Lauren made it so easy. Now I am not afraid to go into the pool, and will be taking swimming lessons next summer. This year, with Coach Ernie, I am learning to run, and do sit ups and push ups. I feel I am getting stronger, and am taking better care of myself. My thanks to the Y for everything you are doing!” Nuff said.