October 6, 2022

A stray shower or thunderstorm is possible early. A few clouds. Low 58F. Winds NNW at 5 to 10 mph..
A stray shower or thunderstorm is possible early. A few clouds. Low 58F. Winds NNW at 5 to 10 mph.
Updated: August 19, 2022 @ 10:21 pm

Sioux Center residents Abby Finley and Julie Bajema meet with Christina Brommer to talk about their new faith and fitness program, Joynd Together Sioux Center, coming in July.

Sioux Center residents Abby Finley and Julie Bajema meet with Christina Brommer to talk about their new faith and fitness program, Joynd Together Sioux Center, coming in July.
SIOUX CENTER—A new program helping kids focus on faith and fitness is coming to Sioux Center.
Open to rising first- through seventh-grade students, Joynd Together Sioux Center seeks to be a Christian learning community that uses the physical activity of running to engage learners in literacy activities within a Christian framework.
“Our goal is to serve as a bridge between school and church communities in Sioux Center,” said director Christina Brommer of Sioux Center. “We hope to foster a diverse Christian community of love, learning, connection and perseverance through the mutual engagement of literacy, physical activity and faith — mind, body, spirit.”
This free program will be 9-11 a.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays, July 25-Aug. 18, at the Children’s Park shelter house, 840 Fourth Ave. SE, Sioux Center.
The program will culminate in children participating in the Healthy Heroes Run on Aug. 20.
All materials for the program will be provided as well as race entry fee and a group T-shirt. However, parents might want to register if they wish to run with their child.
Creating a literacy program that incorporates physical activity and faith is a dream come true for Brommer. By day, she’s a clinical professor for the University of Alabama where she teaches remotely in their reading master’s program. She also has a Ph.D. in elementary education and almost 20 years of experience teaching and being a reading coach in grades kindergarten through graduate school.
In her spare time she also enjoys distance running.
As an elementary teacher, she researched and developed school programs that integrate running and literacy. Those programs previously being connected to public schools could not add the faith component.
“Faith is a big part of my life and I’ve always had this desire to take this concept further with faith integration,” Brommer said, noting she moved to Sioux Center with her husband and two daughters three years ago. “One conversation this spring led to another. I’ve been blessed by others who feel passionate that this idea I had is a good program, good fit for our students so we’re piloting it this summer.”
If successful, this program could move into the school year and evolve into a longer program next summer.
So what exactly is Joynd Together?
“Our learning community will focus on the seven R’s — reading, writing, running, rescuing, redeeming, restoring and relationship,” Brommer said. “Reading and writing are indispensable tools for learning and communicating and are a related processes. Using them together can have a powerful impact on learning. Motivation and engagement in literacy activities is an essential component to literacy learning. Students will engage in low stakes reading and writing activities that promote collaboration, creativity and faith connections.”
Running promotes endurance, mental and physical wellness, toughness and perseverance.
“Running is an easy access and in expensive sport that can last a life time,” Brommer said. “It also can be a valuable tool in teaching goal setting for all ages.”
A key Bible passage for the program is Hebrews 10: 23-25: “Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another.”
“In Christ we are life long learners,” Brommer said. “God created a body that’s meant to move. Movement activates the brain and promotes alertness, attention and motivation. We get energy from expending energy — exercise balances the brain, strengthens and stabilizes us leading to joy. We become more active than passive: ready to do good for others — serving.
“Moving the body engages the brain and lifts the spirit — mind, body, spirit — and we want to do this in community.”
Building relationships, Brommer said, is ever so important, especially in a post-pandemic and social media driven world.
“Hence the name Joynd Together — we want to join together, build relationships across different school and church communities by coming together under the common ground of the Word of God,” Brommer said.
Program participation is capped at 50 students.
Search “Joynd Together” on Facebook to find the registration link or call 205-535-0662 or e-mail christinavanzandt@gmail.com with questions.
CO-DIRECTORS
Christina Brommer of Sioux Center is codirecting Joynd Together Sioux Center with Julie Bajema and Abby Finley.
“They’ve been valuable encouragers in getting this program started and bring an important running background that I don’t have to this program,” Brommer said.
Bajema lives in Sioux Center with her husband and four children. She has enjoyed running and fitness most of her life. As a physical therapist, she was special training in running analysis and long distance running form. She has enjoyed helping with coach some of her kids’ sports teams and loves to make connection with kids and helping them be confident in their abilities.
Finley and her husband also live in Sioux Center. She’s a fourth-grade teacher at Sioux Center Christian School and has a total of seven years of teaching experience total. She also coaches middle school cross country and track after having run cross country and track in high school and at Dordt University. She forever has a deep love for running, including participating in running events such as Sioux Center’s Harvest Half.
Program: Joynd Together Sioux Center
Director: Christina Brommer
Co-directors: Julie Bajema and Abby Finley
Meetings: 9-11 a.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays July 26-Aug. 18
Location: Children’s Park shelter house, 840 Fourth Ave. SE, Sioux Center
Contact: Call 205-535-0662 or e-mail christinavanzandt@gmail.com
Online: Search “Joynd Together” on Facebook
SIOUX CENTER—A variety of activities are scheduled for Memorial Day, Monday, May 30.
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