School & Community News

Teacher is no pushover in push-up contest
April 14, 2024

A brave fourth grader at Russell Byers Charter School in Philadelphia recently declared that he could beat Healthy NewsWorks teacher Eve Smith in a push-up contest. Eve, who has always been active in sports and was an athlete growing up, took up the challenge. 

“I told him to not underestimate me, and that I work out a lot. I promised him on the last day of the program, we would have a contest,” said Eve, a Healthy NewsWorks program associate. 

Everyone in the class was invited to participate in the push-up contest on the final day of the program, and about a third of the 25 students joined in. Each student had someone count push-ups for them, while classroom teacher Ms. Dempsey counted for Eve. 

Most of the students completed between 10 and 30 push-ups—impressive numbers. Eve completed 60.

“The other kids couldn’t believe it,” Eve said. “They were like, ‘OMG!’ It was a fun experience, and we all had a great laugh. I was impressed by how they all tried.”   

When Eve returned to the school for a special lesson a few weeks later, one student eagerly let her know that he’d been working on his push-ups. 

“I asked him to show me, and he pumped out 10 push-ups with great form,” Eve said. “I told him that they looked really good. He looked so happy and proud and said he would keep working on it.” 

Everyone at Healthy NewsWorks has their own ways to keep healthy. Eve, who has taught with the organization since 2022 and has more than a decade of classroom experience, takes pride in lifting heavy weights and enjoys feeling strong. 

“I started weight training and lifting after I had my daughter,” she said. “I am naturally very competitive. My main motivation is to stay healthy, but also to show people what a strong woman can be, be a positive role model to my daughter, and have a positive body image.” 

Eve’s dedication to a consistent strength exercise routine and nutrition regimen has influenced her daughter, who trains competitively in diving and gymnastics. Eve says she trains “to keep ahead” of her daughter, excitedly anticipating the day “she will beat me.”

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Since 2003, Healthy NewsWorks has been empowering elementary and middle school students to become researchers, writers, and confident communicators who advance health understanding and literacy through their factual publications and digital media.