Deerfield Promoting Health With Family Fitness Nights

The Deerfield Community School District has started a family fitness night to give families the opportunity to get healthy together and fight childhood obesity.

Nancy and Jim Huwe’s children usually go to bed at 7 p.m., but instead the whole family was having fun Friday night as part of the school district’s fitness night.

“There’s not much to do in a small town for families in the evenings,” Nancy Huwe said. “It’s a nice thing. We don’t get to do things as a whole family very often that are active.”

Deerfield physical education teacher Pam Haffely started Friday family fitness nights a few months ago. She said the goal was to get children from kindergarten to sixth grade out of the house with their parents — and into shape.

“I think just this one night a week we’re able to kind of make a difference for them,” Haffely said. “Living in Deerfield where we’re about 10 to 15 minutes away from any kind of Prairie Athletic Club or Princeton club, so it’s kind of nice families can come home after work (and) come here and get a workout in and spend some time together.”

Thirty minute sessions include a dance class parents and children can keep up with, to taking turns on all sorts of hands-on exercises in the school gym.

For Haffely, it’s a step in the right direction in combating childhood obesity and something that other communities can start too.

“We provided the opportunity and people were so anxious and hungry for something to do on the weekend with their family, and I think for other schools that are small like Deerfield, it’s something that’s really simple to set up,” Haffely said.

For the Huwe family, it’s a chance to push each other and kick off their weekend in a healthy way.

“I think it’s a great way to spend a Friday night for a family,” Nancy Huwe said.

The family fitness night takes place the third Friday of each month at the elementary school, and it’s free.

The school supplies the equipment and pays the PE teachers like Haffely. But it’s also accepting help from area businesses to provide healthy snacks that are given out at the end of the night.