Live Fit! winner for all

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, March 11, 2008

If you were at Lakeshore Foundation last Tuesday or Friday morning, you would have seen about a dozen or so active Shelby County students jumping on trampolines, playing games in the pool or dancing around like the rambunctious elementary school kids they are.

If you had looked a little closer, you would have seen these children accomplishing these feats despite disabilities like missing limbs, muscular dystrophy, cerebral palsy and vision problems.

The children were participating in the Live Fit! program at the Lakeshore Foundation in Homewood.

The initiative is designed to help kids with disabilities lead normal, active and healthy lives.

It was launched in the fall of 2007 as a way to improve the health, self-esteem and peer relationships of students in Shelby County who have physical disabilities.

For months, Live Fit!, which is funded through a grant from the Community Foundation, has brought Lakeshore staff into Shelby County schools.

However, students from schools in Calera, Montevallo and Oak Mountain got a chance last week to get out of the classroom and learn new exercises designed especially for them.

The exercises are great because they improve the kids&8217; strength, endurance and flexibility.

But the program also has an added bonus because it shows students and their families that children with disabilities can be just as active as other students.

It&8217;s vital that physical education opportunities be given to these students so they, too, can lead active and independent lives.

Hopefully, other Shelby County students will soon benefit from the program.