You Can’t Afford NOT to Enroll!

Rachel’s parents are working on their budget. YUCK! As they are going through their expenses, they started thinking about Rachel’s gymnastics classes. “Does Rachel really need to learn gymnastics?  It’s not like she’s going to be on the Olympic Team!”
As parents, I’m sure we’ve all had that thought. So, why do we send our children to gymnastics? Does Horizon have the next Mary Lou Retton or Shawn Johnson? Maybe. But classes at Horizon are so very much more than gymnastics. Think about this:
*One study found that children who take gymnastics classes raised their reading and math scores by up to 10%. This could be attributed to either the self assurance that comes from learning gymnastics skills or to the fact that gymnastics requires the use of both sides of the brain at once. This process develops neurological pathways which promotes reading readiness.
*Your child’s school district may not have a gymnastics team; however, gymnastics can be a great springboard (pardon the pun) to other sports. The recent high school state diving meet, which took place this fall, included 4 girls that have trained at Horizon. There are 13 girls on Hudsonville and Jenison’s competitive cheer teams that have trained at Horizon. One of our former students is on a full-ride cheer scholarrship at Hawaii Pacific University and another performs professionally with Cirque Du Soleil!
*With 30% of children and adolescents in the United States overweight, getting children away from the television or computer games and into the gym is a terrific first step toward a healthy lifestyle. The researchers at the Centers for Disease Control report that youth who undertake lifestyle exercise programs that increase physical activity, reduce the intake of high-caloric foods and involve parents have the best chance of preventing and reducing obesity over the long-term. Gymnastics is perhaps one of the most comprehensive “lifestyle exercise programs” available to children, incorporating strength, flexibility, speed, balance, coordination, power and discipline (Michael Taylor, 2003).
*Physical activity is instrumental in preventing certain cancers; from colon cancer and breast cancer to prostate cancer (Merrett, Theis & Ashbury, 2000). Increased exercise helped reduce the risk of developing diabetes by 58% (Yale University School of Medicine, 2001). Beginning a physical activity such as gymnastics at an early age is no guarantee but active children are more likely to grow up to be active and healthy adults.
*A study of school-aged children found that the risk of substance abuse by adolescents is decreased by physical training programs that incorporate life skills. Better school attendance, lower anxiety and depression, and decreased use of tobacco and alcohol were all reported after a twelve-week physical training program (Collingwood, Sunderlin, Reynolds & Kohl, 2000) Horizon’s comprehensive program incorporates physical activity with important life skills with our “Powerful Words” program.
After all this compelling evidence, Rachel’s parents have decided that they can’t afford NOT to send her to the class! Rachel doesn’t know that she’s learning to read better, be healthier, reduce his risk of cancer or be a better citizen. She just knows she’s having fun. That’s a win-win for everyone!