WEST ISHPEMING — Kids at Aspen Ridge Elementary School kicked off the school’s Building Healthy Communities initiative with a fun assembly Friday.

The healthy living program aims to build healthy and active lifestyles at a young age so kids will keep those habits throughout their lives.  Aspen Ridge Elementary School is encouraging kids to get some sort of exercise for 60 minutes a day, teaching nutrition and the importance of healthy living.

“We’ll be working on getting indoor recess kids for each room, because we know the U.P. winters are real fun, but we want to make sure fitness and activity are a daily regimen, not just P.E. class, but part of their life,” registered dietician Michelle Boehmer said.

Some school activities, like food tastings and outdoor programs, will be led by a few 5th grade students who are part of the school’s Wellness Team.

“We’re going to be showing kids how it’s good to exercise and really healthy, so we’re cutting back all of the unhealthy stuff for the school. We’re going to add healthy stuff in,” Wellness Team member Ella Maki said.

“We’re going to be doing these things–get active for ten days they (the kids) can earn prizes if they fill the cards out,” Wellness Team member Sarina Maki said.

“I think this is a good idea for the organization to help school be more healthier,” Ella said.

Building Healthy Communities program is a collaboration between Blue Cross Blue Shield, the Michigan Department of Community Health and other organizations.