The Columbus Blue Jackets are partnering with Worthington elementary schools to add some hockey style to the physical education programs.
The Blue Jackets Power Play Challenge is a physical education program that incorporates hockey skills and healthful lifestyle choices for students and is designed to fit into current standards.
The program is split into five challenges, named after Blue Jackets players, and have different goals. They are:
(Boone) Jenner's Jogging Challenge, which has a goal of running 3 cumulative miles; (Nick) Foligno's Fitness Challenge, completing 50 cumulative push-ups and sit-ups; (Cam) Atkinson's Agility Challenge, to complete and understand stickhandling, passing and shooting in hockey; (Sergei) Bobrovsky's Ball Hockey Challenge, to participate in a game while using the skills learned in the agility challenge; and (Seth) Jones' Nutrition Challenge, to show understanding of healthful habits using a grocery list and meal worksheets, according to the teacher's manual for the Power Play Challenge.
Each student who completes all five challenges will receive a ticket to a home game.
School officials could not confirm that the organization is partnering with all 11 elementary schools but said that the Blue Jackets could be working with individual teachers and staff.
Andee Boiman, director of fan development and community programs for the Blue Jackets, said the team piloted the program with Columbus City Schools last year and expanded it to Olentangy, Worthington and Dublin this school year.
Boiman said the organization came up with the idea after seeing the issues of childhood obesity through other free programs it has offered.
The Blue Jackets provide all the materials needed for the program, from the teaching materials to worksheets and lessons.
Boiman said those materials have been shipped to the schools.
Boiman said the organization expects all programs will be running later this month, but the schools do not have to follow any timeline with the rollout.
Rick Armstrong, a physical education teacher for Granby Elementary School, said the program is nothing but positive for both him and his students.
"The nice thing about the Jackets Power Play challenge is that it integrates a lot of the things we need to do," he said.
Armstrong said the trickiest part of the program will be deciding what unit to incorporate it into.
"Yes, it fits in the curriculum, but the question is how I'm going to fit it in," he said.
Armstrong said he hasn't rolled it out to his students yet, but he anticipates it to be popular.
"All I see is benefits," he said.
Other prizes students can earn from completing challenges include a street hockey stick and puck as well as charms for a bracelet.
"It's good branding for us, and it's a good way to bring our players to life for these kids," Boiman said.