More than 200 students and their parents participated Wednesday night in a Fremont school fair dedicated to promoting youth health and wellness.

Centerville Junior High's second annual Family Fun Fitness Night featured exercise areas, a music deejay and health professionals, including a trainer from the Oakland Athletics, said Theresa Velazquez, a physical education teacher.

Velazquez started the event last year with the goals of fighting child obesity and encouraging the school's 950 students to improve their physical fitness. The students's parents and siblings were invited to the two-hour fair held at the gym along Fremont Boulevard.

"We do that so parents encourage their children to improve their health and fitness," Velazquez said. At the fitness fair, students and their parents are given a "passport" that lists several exercises, such as push-ups, pull-ups, jumping rope and a flexibility test called sit-and-reach.

When they complete each exercise, they attend a question-and-answer session on food groups and nutrition, Velazquez said. They then have a teacher sign off on their passports, which they exchange for health-related prizes, such as a lunch cooler, a water bottle or a yoga mat.

The day after the fitness event, Centerville instructors held a drawing from the completed passports and the winning student received an football autographed and donated by San Francisco 49ers defensive end Justin Smith.


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Velazquez said the strong turnout ensures that a third annual Family Fun Fitness Night will be scheduled next year, where she plans to continue pairing fitness with fun.

"If we promote that now, the students are more likely to be healthy adults when they're older," she said.

San Lorenzo teacher wins state honor

Washington Manor Middle School teacher Mary Ann Davis has been named the state's top middle school arts instructor.

The California Art Education Association will present the award Monday at its conference in Riverside.

Davis has taught for 15 years in San Lorenzo schools -- four at Washington Manor and 11 years before that at Edendale Middle School. She earlier was a teacher in New Haven schools. In addition to teaching art at Washington Manor, Davis also is the school's yearbook adviser.

"I have so much appreciation for the students I've had both at Edendale, and now at Washington Manor Middle School," Davis said. "They've inspired me to do what I do and become the teacher I am today.

"It saddens me that they no longer have an art program at Edendale." The art program at that school was cut four years ago.

Washington Manor Principal James Gray said the school was extremely proud of Davis.

"We're very fortunate to have Ms. Davis as a member of this team. She loves kids and is very passionate about her work," he said.

Hayward to dedicate rebuilt school

Hayward school officials will dedicate Tyrrell Elementary School on Saturday.

Tyrrell is one of five Hayward schools that underwent either massive renovation or a complete rebuild with Measure I bond money. Voters approved the $205 million bond in 2008.

The projects came in roughly $20 million under budget. The district is working with a citizens' oversight committee to decide the best way to spend the rest of the bond money.

The dedication is 10 a.m. to noon at the school, 27000 Tyrrell Ave.

Homeroom is a weekly roundup of news from schools in greater Hayward and the Tri-City areas.