Wake Up Catalina celebrates 100 days of morning workouts
Wake Up Catalina celebrates 100 days of morning workouts

Santa Catalina Lower and Middle School marked the 100th day of Wake Up Catalina, a morning exercise routine established for students during distance learning, on February 19.

Coaches Paul Elliott, Debra Burke, and Nicole Cofresi have been leading workouts before school as a way to help students start their day off right. At first done entirely from home, students continued to take part when they returned to school in person, Zooming into the program as a class.

"It's changing my life," said Coach Elliott, who kept track of the days on the gym scoreboard. "I've been teaching and coaching for years, and I am so proud of this program and so proud of the way the children have embraced it."

Coach Burke said it's changed her life as well: "I find myself waking up on the weekends and feeling like something's missing in the morning."

Coach Elliott leads Wake Up Catalina on Day 100.

The daily workouts begin with breathing exercises to help the students become present, then ramp up into warmups and full-blown workouts with burpees, jumping jacks, and the like. The coaches have also taken the opportunity to introduce students to Santa Catalina's Wheel of Well-being, the centerpiece of a health and wellness program that started in the Upper School and is gradually being rolled out to younger grades.

The coaches aren't the only ones leading workouts. Two eighth-graders lead exercises every Monday, and seventh-graders have also had opportunities to take charge.

"I'm thrilled about the leadership opportunities," Coach Elliott said. "The classrooms are begging to be spotlighted so they can be the ones on the big screen doing the exercises."

Wake Up Catalina has changed over the first 100 days, but one thing has been consistent: It remains an integral part of the day for students and teachers alike.

"It's really important for the students to get moving to get ready for school," Coach Elliott said. "Wake Up Catalina is a great way to do it."

Fourth-graders do a workout in class led by Coach Cofresi.

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