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Healthy Schools Initiative Is Project Of Missouri Foundation For Health

Ava & Skyline Schools Will Kick Off Program Next Wednesday

Five-Year Commitment Starts with Healthy Schools, Delivering Better Choices for Food and Physical Activity in grades K-8.

Local school officials will be announcing the start of a five-year partnership with the Missouri Foundation for Health to improve children’s health through healthier school environments. This will include better food choices and increased opportunities for physical activity.
The announcement will be made by Ava Superintendent Dr. Brian Wilson, Assistant Superintendent Dr. Nancy Lawler, and Skyline R-2 Superintendent Jeanne Curtis.
The initiative will provide funding and technical assistance directly to the district and help each school tailor its own plan to create a healthy school.
Dr. Lawler said, “Research shows that there is sharp increase in childhood obesity throughout the United States and Ava, Missouri is certainly aligned to those statistics.  Ava is thrilled to get the ‘Schools as the Hub’ grant through the Missouri Foundation for Health.
“Schools truly are the hub for nutritional and physical activity lifestyle changes.  We have the ability to open the doors of opportunity for all students, regardless of their backgrounds.
“Ava R-I believes schools have an essential role to play in promoting not only a child’s academic achievement but also to help students develop healthy habits for life which include eating healthy and being physically active.  We are excited about the interventions we are going to be able to provide due to the fact that we are part of the ‘Schools as the Hub’ grant.”
Skyline Superintendent Jeanne Curtis said, “The Skyline R-2 School District promotes healthy living, by supporting wellness, good nutrition, and regular physical activity as part of the educational environment. The Missouri Foundation for Health Childhood Obesity Prevention Initiative will be a great supplement to our programs to help teach students and encourage them to have a healthier lifestyle.”
Ava and Skyline administrators will be joined at the announcement by vocal supporters of the Healthy Schools Healthy Communities Initiative, which focuses on children in grades K-8.
Ava R-1 and Skyline R-2 will be kicking off the local effort on Wednesday, Sept. 25 at 9 a.m. with announcements on the Ava Middle School playground, followed by a Wii challenge featuring school age children from both Ava and Skyline school districts in the Ava Middle School gym.
Parents and community members are welcome and encouraged to attend this celebration.
More than 30 percent of Missouri’s kids are obese or overweight. Low-income communities and schools have the highest obesity rates. Poor health in childhood increases the odds of chronic diseases such as asthma, diabetes, and tooth decay, which leads to more absenteeism and diminished school performance.
Research demonstrates that regular physical activity and physical fitness are associated with higher levels of academic performance.
For more information about the Healthy Schools Healthy Communities initiative, go to:  http://www.mffh.org/content/740/ childhood-obesity-prevention.aspx.

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