School District Expands CrossFit Program in Valley Schools - 8 News NOW

School District Expands CrossFit Program in Valley Schools

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LAS VEGAS - Just in time for Childhood Obesity Awareness Month, a new program is bringing CrossFit to more Las Vegas valley schools.

Strength and conditioning are key components of CrossFit, which combines cardio, Olympic lifting, power lifting and gymnastics. At Rancho High School, kids are training their minds not to give up, no matter how much resistance they feel.

It's not your typical physical education class, but Michelle Van Buren isn't your average teacher. She implemented the CrossFit program at Rancho High School three years ago. It was the first valley school to use the fitness regimen.

"Teaching has become more fun now for me, and I know for the other ten teachers that are doing this, they're going to enjoy teaching even more," she said.

Her program has worked so well, the Clark County School District is expanding it to 10 more schools, thanks to a $3 million grant from the Centers for Disease Control. For Van Buren, the expansion means something more.

"I knew what CrossFit did for my life," she said.

Heart disease runs in her immediate family. The former college athlete began CrossFit to fight her family history. She has dedicated her life to health, which she says also improves education.

"The kids have lost weight, built muscle. They're sleeping better. They tell me that they're more focused in their academics. They're coming to school more often, so their attendance has improved a lot," she said.

Van Buren has seven CrossFit classes with more than 200 students.

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