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Vickroy: Second-grader’s video promotes fitness, by George

George PartIII second-grader St. Linus School Oak Lawn recently made video for cable access televisiabout getting shape. He is pictured

George Partin III, a second-grader at St. Linus School in Oak Lawn, recently made a video for cable access television about getting in shape. He is pictured at the BITV studio in Blue Island Thursday, March 21, 2013. | Brett Roseman~Sun-Times Media

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Updated: April 27, 2013 6:03AM



George Partin III is a 60-pound muscle machine.

He’s also a kid on a mission.

The 7-year-old would like all of America to shape up. But he’ll start with his hometown of Blue Island.

With some technical assistance from his dad, George recently put together a video of fitness tips. Filled with advice from a local doctor as well as some gym regulars, the film, “Get Fit, Blue Island,” will air for four months beginning April 1 on Comcast’s Blue Island TV (cable channel 4) and on AT&T U-verse’s cable access channel, which is available from the Wisconsin border to Kankakee. Right now, it can be seen on YouTube (youtube/oZV8e3UcocQ).

“I’m doing this so people know how to stay fit,” George said. “A lot of people are overweight and out of shape.”

On March 15, George and his dad, George Jr., who is videographer and chief editor for the city of Blue Island, took a camera inside MetroSouth Fitness Center and George got busy exercising his communication skills.

First, he interviewed Dr. Zahrain St. Jean, a Blue Island family practitioner on staff at MetroSouth Medical Center. She gave him lots of advice.

George loves bowling, soccer and long-distance running, as well as running around with his friends at recess. In good weather, he and his dad go to Sears Park, where young George does the various workouts at the different stations. In cold weather, they head to Chicago Ridge Mall early in the morning to walk before the shoppers arrive.

Though he sounds like a muscle machine, George is also a typical kid. He likes playing video games — “sometimes,” he says. He loves SpongeBob. He’s a White Sox fan. And his favorite subjects in school are reading and science.

“I just read a book from the library about Mercury,” he said. “It was pretty good.”

His goals are to run a 5K race and to get others to embrace his love of exercise.

His interview with St. Jean resulted in lots of good advice.

“She told me when you go to the store, you can park far from the entrance and get more exercise by walking,” he said. “You can take the stairs instead of the elevator.”

And kids, he said, can go on walks with their families on the weekends.

“People can also get healthier by eating less junk food and eating more things like apples and bananas,” he said.

Personally, he prefers bananas and oranges, but all fruit is good for you, he said.

Some of George’s teachers at St. Linus School in Oak Lawn saw the video and complimented him on it.

“One teacher wanted my autograph,” he said.

George also interviewed several people working out at MetroSouth Fitness Center.

Among the exercisers he interviewed was Jerry Wagner, financial analyst for MetroSouth, who said he keeps in shape by climbing stairs — lots of them. For the past two years, Wagner has climbed the Oak Brook Terrace and all four presidential towers. He recently took third place in the Oak Brook Tower climb.

“George asked me why I do it and I told him because it’s great exercise,” Wagner said. “And it’s a great thing for families to do together.”

Wagner said he sees lots of kids talking with their parents while making the climb.

“It’s a great way to do things together, especially in the winter when it’s hard to find things to do,” Wagner said.

Other workout warriors shared tips about the importance of stretching before working out, being consistent and doing it.

George’s project earned him a fitness pin from Cub Scout Pack 4104 in Oak Lawn.

It’s not the first pin for George, nor is it his first time taking an interest in the welfare of others in the community.

At Christmas, George donated to several organizations to help homeless people and kids in need. Those organizations included Public Action to Deliver Shelter in Chicago Ridge, Angels Touch in Blue Island, the VFW in Midlothian, the St. Linus Food Pantry in Oak Lawn, and the St. Linus Cub Scout Pack 4104 food drive in Oak Lawn.

George’s dad said his son raises money by saving cans and then turning them in for cash.

“He would like to raise $50 to donate to the Ronald McDonald House and (Advocate Children’s) Hospital in Oak Lawn before the end of the school year,” George Jr. said.

George has also earned several Cub Scout belt loops, including for map and compass, language and culture, video games, physical fitness, nutrition, hiking and bowling. He will receive his physical fitness pin in April.

Meanwhile, MetroSouth plans to use the video to promote its fitness center.

For more information on the center, call (708) 597-2000, Ext. 5615.



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