Bringing Health-and-Fitness Programs to Adults at Reagan & Beyond
By Kim Underwood
Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools
FEBRUARY 23, 2021 – At the beginning of the school year, Kerry Harbor, the Head Strength Coach at Reagan High, committed to making a generous donation of fitness equipment to the school.
He is in the process of making plans for another generous gift that will serve people throughout Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools.
Harbor is organizing health-and-fitness programs that, in the beginning, will serve teachers and other staff members at Reagan, as well as parents and others in the Reagan community.
As it is, teachers and other in the Reagan community regularly come up and ask him questions about this or that with regards to health and fitness. What he wants to do is being able to provide a comprehensive program.
People who eat well and exercise are better able to meet the challenges presented by the coronavirus and other sources of stress, Harbor said.
“I want to start this spring,’ Harbor said.
In praising the program, Principal Brad Royal noted a slogan used at Reagan: “We are Pfafftown.”
The purpose of the phrase is to illustrate that everyone at Reagan wants to serve not only the school but also everyone in the wide community.
And this will do that, Royal said. As someone with “an incredible knowledge base,” Harbor knows a great deal about health and fitness, and it’s very generous of him to share that knowledge with others.
“It’s super exciting to me,” Royal said. “This is amazing.”
There will be no charge from the program. Sessions might be held after school or on Saturdays.
Harbor’s plans go beyond the Reagan community.
Harbor is a Teacher Leader with the Teacher Academy, and one of his goals is to do what he can to serve people through the school system. Eventually – with the help of others – he would like to be able to offer health-and-fitness programs for teachers and staff members throughout WS/FCS.
“I want to turn this into something for the whole district,” he said. “It’s going to be a lot of work but it’s a labor of love. I feel like it’s worth it.”
It’s been his experience that such efforts bring their own reward.
“Every time I have done something more, I get something in return,” Harbor said.
Harbor is in the process of honing his already strong skills through an online training program called the PLAE Academy High School Coaching Mentorship. (PLAE is company that manufactures flooring for athletic training facilities.)
Harbor received a scholarship to take the training, which includes 85 people from across the country. The training, which started in January and will continue through July, covers such topics as warm-up exercises, stress management, and nutrition.
When we wrote a story about Harbor at the beginning of the school year, he had been awarded $5,000 to be used for fitness equipment at the national convention – held virtually, of course – of the National High School Strength Coaches Association (NHSSCA) this summer.
The prize award was for him personally. So he could have used it to fill his basement with equipment for the family. He wasn’t interested in doing that, though. He wanted to buy equipment to be used by coaches, athletes, and other Reagan students.
When people with the association found out that Harbor would be using the prize to order equipment for the school, they asked him what all he would like to buy for Reagan. When he made a list and sent it to him, they said they would be willing to provide additional equipment. He was able to order about $11,000 worth of equipment.
“I got everything on my wish list,” Harbor said. “They made it happen.”
At the time of the first story, he was waiting for the equipment to arrive, and his two children – Thomas and Gracie – were coming with him to Reagan each day to attend school remotely.
And, with the uncertainties brought by the coronavirus, he was working out how the equipment could best be used to serve the Reagan community.
Here it is six months later.
Some things are different.
Thomas and Gracie art both going to school in person – Thomas to Meadowlark Middle and Gracie to Meadowlark Elementary.
The equipment has arrived.
Students are returning to Reagan. On the morning of Monday Feb. 22 – the first day back for sophomores – three sophomores were working with PE teacher Richard Burton in the weight room.
Other things are still up in the air. Because of coronavirus restrictions, although some of the equipment is in use, much of it is still in boxes in a storeroom. The room has boxes filled with kettle bells, medicine balls, 2½-pound, 5-pound and 10-pound plates, and more.
Harbor’s vision for how the equipment will be used, though, has become clearer.
With the equipment Reagan already had, he said, “We have enough equipment for two separate workout areas.”
So he envisions being able to establish a second workout space, which would make it possible for two different groups to work out at the same time.
It’s also possible that some of the equipment could be pulled from one or the other of the areas for smaller groups to work out. Depending on the day and time, sports teams, physical education classes, cheerleaders, JROTC students could all work out at the same time.
“We could have up to five teams working out at one time,” he said.
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