Texas Ranger mascot Captain sits while watching a video about healthy habits with Maude I Logan Elementary students on May 16, 2023, in Fort Worth. (Cristian ArguetaSoto | Fort Worth Report)

Forty fifth-grade students at Maude I Logan Elementary pulled their right arms across their chest.

One. Two. Three. Four. And release. 

On to the left arm.

The stretching exercise was part of a new physical education regime Fort Worth ISD is rolling out in partnership with the Texas Rangers Baseball Foundation.

The program started in 2008 with Medical City Healthcare and the Texas Rangers Baseball Foundation to encourage Arlington ISD students to choose healthy lifestyles. The initiative wants to help bridge the gap for topics that might not be taught in typical P.E. classes, such as healthy eating habits.

Michael Conner, Logan Elementary’s principal, heard about the program when Medical City contacted Fort Worth ISD about expanding the 15-year-old program. He jumped at the opportunity. 

“I’m very happy to have the opportunity to invest in our kids and their health,” Conner said. “Hopefully, we can create very healthy habits for them and their families.” 

Deputy Superintendent Karen Molinar agreed with Conner on the importance of healthy habits for students. 

“We always want to concentrate on the physical health of our students, but the partnership with Medical City just brings a whole different layer to it,”  Molinar said. “This will help them engage in their physical health by doing something playful.” 

Students excitedly screamed as Captain, the Rangers’ mascot, ran out of the gym storage room to join Rangers community impact director Ray Casas, outfielder Bubba Thompson and third base coach Tony Beasley. 

Texas Rangers outfielder Bubba Thompson, left, and third base coach Tony Beasley wait to discuss healthy habits with Maude I Logan Elementary students on May 16, 2023, in Fort Worth. (Cristian ArguetaSoto | Fort Worth Report)

Students watched several videos in which Captain and Medical City Healthcare professionals taught them tips to maintain physical and mental health through good hygiene, aerobic exercise, and healthy eating. 

After each video, Casas asked the students what they learned. 

“Stretching can help you from not hurting yourself!” one student shouted after learning about aerobic exercises. 

Casas emphasized the importance of turning off devices to mentally recharge. Bodies need time for peace and going for a walk or doing other activities can do that, he added. 

Beasley and Thompson reinforced the importance of healthy habits. Thompson talked about how he ate grilled chicken before games to ensure he played at his peak performance. 

The students were laser-focused on him as he talked about his experience in Major League Baseball. Thompson was happy to share.

“It feels good to have an opportunity to tell them what I know,” Thompson said. 

Editor’s note: This story was updated on May 18 to correct the spelling of the Texas Rangers mascot in the lead photo.

Juan Salinas II is a reporting fellow for the Fort Worth Report. Contact him at juan.salinas@fortworthreport.org or on Twitter. At the Fort Worth Report, news decisions are made independently of our board members and financial supporters. Read more about our editorial independence policy here. Read more about our editorial independence policy here

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Juan Salinas II

Born and raised in the North Side of Fort Worth. Juan Salinas II is a reporting fellow. He is a Tarrant County College transfer student who is currently studying journalism at the University of Texas at...