Skip to main content


Person Typing on Laptop

May is When School Winds Down & Activity Winds Up!

Operation Xcel equips youth academically, socially, physically, and emotionally through future-focused afterschool, summer, and mentorship programs.  May is the month to focus on physical education and sports!

It’s May, and you may wonder what happened that the first four months of the year have come and gone.  They say that April showers bring May flowers, but what else, among the best things that could ever happen to humankind, is special about May?   Of course, there’s May Day, Mother’s Day, and Memorial Day.   At one time in history, May Day was set aside as a labor-free day, much like our traditional Labor Day holiday in September.  What is distinct about this day is its emphasis on sweethearts, the crowning of a May Queen and King, and all things floral.  From flowers atop a pole from which colored streamers hung to those worn in the hair of young ladies who held the streamers and danced around the ‘Maypole,’ flowers remained the main ingredient in May Day celebrations. We shared some interesting ideas on how to celebrate May Day.  Then there’s Mother’s Day, a celebration of our mothers without whom there would be no us.  Memorial Day—observed on the last Monday of the month is a time to honor our fallen war heroes.  Memorial Day is also regarded as the first day for barbecuing and cookouts.  It's like the unofficial kick-off to Summer—when schools are winding down their school year, and children are anxious because the end seems never to arrive soon enough. Summer camps and swimming pools open, and soon, the sounds of laughter and playing children, hot charcoals burning, and the songs of the ice cream truck will fill the air.


At Operation Xcel, we believe in promoting special causes and raising awareness about issues primarily affecting our students, their families, and communities. This May, we want to shine a light on a special observance close to our hearts - National Physical Education & Sport Week. This observance is recognized from the 1st through the 7th of May. We believe it is important to highlight because physical education and sports are integral to maintaining good health for people of all ages.  We want our students to live healthy, long lives to fulfill a profitable and successful career and family life beyond their school years.


Our students participate in school physical education and fun physical activities, outdoor sports, and games while at our afterschool and summer programs.  Did you know that physical education is intended to help Americans create routines that may lead to a much healthier way of life?  Fortunately, physical activity and sports are often fun, especially when done in groups.  Group activities help Americans get out of their comfort zones and engage with new people, enlarging their circle to include people who live and look different than themselves.   What better way to get to know your neighbors and others in your community?  Understanding where one fits into society and embracing differences across various cultures improves the lives of all involved.  This cross-cultural communication breeds creativity of mind and increases support and the presence of a diverse society.  We at Operation  Xcel promote multiculturalism and embrace its significance in the lives of our students. Our programs include students from various ethnicities, countries, and communities who communicate using the universal language, L-O-V-E, love!


Did you know that what you do to move your body regularly promotes a healthier body and increases your energy afterward?  Starting and staying physically active reduces a person’s chances of acquiring sicknesses, especially avoidable conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke, and heart attack.  Physical activity increases one's heart rate when exercising and lowers one's risk for these diseases.  It is not necessary to participate in high-energy, high-impact sports to improve one’s health.   One of the best forms of physical exercises with the greatest benefit to the body is low impact and requires no special equipment.  Can you guess what that activity is?  If you thought that it was walking, you're right!


Walking is considered the best exercise because it engages almost every muscle group, including the heart and lungs, and it doesn’t require special equipment.  Walking improves heart health.  It is sad knowing that people who do not get regular physical exercise lose most of their muscle mass by age 65.  Beginning exercise then is not a lost cause, but the benefits are not as remarkable as if exercise had started earlier in life.


With these facts in mind, why not take advantage of these longer, drier, and warmer days of May to engage the family in fun physical activities?  Perhaps you may decide to learn a new sport with your children.  What about the most famous sport in the world, soccer?  Do your children already play soccer?  Have you ever played rugby or lacrosse?  Do you know how to jump with a single rope or double-dutch?  Go ahead, resurrect that child in you,  buy a few hula hoops, play ‘Mother-may-I?’, or set up a scavenger hunt that requires using the entire circumference of your property.   You may create a pattern of physical activity that will last a lifetime and create longevity for yourself and your children.   Who knows?  You may create special bonds and memories that your children may pass on to their children later in life.   


Spending time together as a family while playing outside is also a great time for conversation without the presence of cell phones and handheld games.  Be sure to tell your children about the different types of physical fitness tests you had to participate in when you were in school not too many years ago.  Middle and high school students in schools now will not remember when Presidential Fitness Tests were mandatory.  The program lasted from the 1950s until 2013 when it was replaced with the Presidential Youth Fitness Program.  Whereas the Presidential Fitness testing lasted a couple of days or a week, its replacement involves less individual competition between students. It is more group-focused on developing teamwork and basic health knowledge through physical activities. 


Here is a fun fact for your brown bag takeout this month: 

Did you know there is such a thing as Star Wars Day?  Star Wars Day is on the 4th of May? This day is more for its humor than its observance.  May the Fourth Be With You is a pun for Darth Vader’s “May the Force Be with You.”   (Come on! You smiled, even if just a little!)  It's early enough to share this greeting on social media or at work on May 4th.


Enjoy the month of May!  Let’s get physically active in preparation for the warmer days of Summer and our longer life of joy ahead!