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Great Bend students fit at Fort Larned
Riley students enjoy day
Riley Alex Prieto 049
Photo by Jim Misunas Riley Elementary student Alex Prieto enjoys a game with a fellow student. Fort Larned was part of Kids Fitness Day Friday.

FORT LARNED — Fort Larned promoted Kansas Kids Fitness and Safety Day Friday in conjunction with the Governor’s Council on Fitness.
The 2011 Kansas Kids Fitness and Safety Day was also sponsored by Safe Kids Kansas, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment and American Family Insurance. The event featured events to promote physical activity and prevent accidental injuries.
“Safe Kids Kansas is excited to participate again in this statewide event which reinforces for children the fun and health benefits of non-competitive physical activities,” said Cherie Sage, Safe Kids Kansas state director. “We want to encourage children and their families to get moving, play and be active. We want them to understand how simple safety steps such as wearing appropriate safety gear and keeping hydrated can keep your children from getting sidelined.”
Sandy Lucas was the coordinator for 500 students at the Fort Larned National Historic Site. Great Bend elementary schools, Ellinwood Elementary, LaCrosse Elementary, Larned Northside Elementary, Great Bend Holy Family and Macksville Elementary students participated.
Two sessions were conducted. Scheduled events are station fire brigade, hoop spear throw, graces, scattered square dance, American and English, a safety station, soldier canon pull, bear hunt, calvary training and other Fort-related activities.
Safety relays included stations such as Stop, Drop and Roll, simulated emergency calls to 9-1-1, testing of smoke alarms, and selecting and suiting up in a life jacket.
Tug-of-war and the cannon pull were the most popular events, but the children got plenty of exercise in each event. 
Friday’s festivities kick off flagship events for 700 youngsters at Cedar Crest in Topeka and 500 third-graders at the Fort Larned National Historic Site.
Other schools will participate Friday and Saturday at their home sites.
Statewide, nearly 16,000 third-graders, their teachers, and parents will be participating at 31 host sites to promote physical activity and safety.
It is also important for children to follow basic safety practices. Accidental injuries are still the leading killer and disabler of Kansas children ages under 14.  Safe Kids Week is focusing on preventing youth sports injuries in 2011.
Festivities were also conducted at McClellan Park at Cedar Crest in Topeka. Activities at Cedar Crest opened with remarks from Dr. Moser, the secretary of the Kansas Dept of Health and Environment.
Children participating in Kansas Kids Fitness and Safety Day participated in a four-week fitness challenge prior to their event. Students received health and safety enrichment packets, safety tip sheets, jump ropes and click-and-catch games to encourage safety and physical activity.
For more information about sports safety and Safe Kids, visit