According to the CDC, obesity now affects 1 in 6 children and adolescents in the United States. Some Chatham County schools are receiving national recognition for fighting back. Pooler Elementary, Pulaski Elementary and Port Wentworth Elementary received awards from the Alliance for a Healthier Generation.
Over at Port Wentworth Elementary, 2nd grade teacher Telisa Clark is the moving force behind the school’s healthy initiative. Her students aren’t just giving their brains a workout but also their bodies while in class.
“I like exercising because you get strong,” said student Johnay Davis.
Clark said it’s great to see the kids enjoy learning about a healthy lifestyle.
“We keep them moving because there have been a number of studies that show that when children are moving their brains are more active and they are able to learn more,” said Clark.
Clark said she’s making it her mission to get these students hooked on health early. It’s her passion after heart disease forced her to undergo open heart surgery at the age of 30.
“A lot of heart disease runs in these communities and high blood pressure, high cholesterol and I think that it is absolutely necessary to start to teach our children how to transform our lives at an early age. We need to teach them about healthy eating and how to choose fruits and vegetables over snacks and candy. We need to teach them how to count their calories,” said Clark.
In Clark’s classroom, students are rewarded with fitness activities and not candy, even on Valentine’s Day.
“They had so much fun making these fruit parfaits you would think it was ice cream,” said Clark.
If you would like to use some of the school fitness activities at home click here: https://www.gonoodle.com/