August 29, 2012
More North Texas schools join fight against obesity
by Robert Miller, The Dallas Morning News (source)
Dallas Cowboys Hall of Famer Troy Aikman will help the United Way of Metropolitan Dallas and The Cooper Institute honor the work of North Texas schools fighting childhood obesity.
The Healthy Zone School Recognition Program is a six-year initiative that will serve 70 schools and affect more than 25,000 students and their families by the end of its final year. The schools selected receive teacher fitness and nutrition training along with about $8,000 for physical education equipment, health promotions and parent education tools.
The program is expanding to serve 32 schools in 11 school districts across North Texas.
“As the Healthy Zone program continues to widen its reach, we hope to build on its momentum and potential to reach tens of thousands of students and their families,” said Aikman, co-chair of the Healthy Zone School Recognition Program’s Advisory Council.
The 2012-13 Healthy Zone Schools will be recognized at 9 a.m. Tuesday at Arapaho Classical Magnet School, 1300 Cypress Drive in Richardson.
Aikman, Dr. Kenneth Cooper and United Way CEO and president Jennifer Sampson will address an audience of students, teachers, school district representatives and community leaders. Field day activities will follow outdoors until 11 a.m., and Aikman will lead a football toss field day station until 10 a.m.
“Almost 40 percent of Dallas high school students are overweight or obese, and research now supports the link between physical fitness and classroom success,” Sampson said. “With children in school seven hours a day, five days a week, it’s vital to shape an environment to move them toward both physical and academic success.”
New Healthy Zone Schools are Puster Elementary, Lovejoy ISD; Minshew Elementary, McKinney ISD; Roy Lee Walker Elementary, McKinney ISD; and Shands Elementary, Mesquite ISD.
New Healthy Zone In-Training Schools are Lake Ridge Elementary, Cedar Hill ISD; Central Elementary, Dallas ISD; Felix G. Botello Elementary, Dallas ISD; M.B. Henderson Elementary, Dallas ISD; Sudie L. Williams Elementary, Dallas ISD; Kimberlin Academy of Excellence, Garland ISD; Finch Elementary, McKinney ISD; McClure Elementary, McKinney ISD; Wolford Elementary, McKinney ISD; Florence Black Elementary, Mesquite ISD; I.N. Range Elementary, Mesquite ISD; Jay R. Thompson Elementary, Mesquite ISD; Thomas Elementary, Plano ISD; Dorris A. Jones Elementary, Rockwall ISD; Grace Hartman Elementary, Rockwall ISD; and Utley Middle School, Rockwall ISD.
Arapaho Classical Magnet is one of four schools being promoted to full Healthy Zone School status, as it excelled last year in health promotion policies and practices.
Schools are selected to participate for at least three years. Public, private and charter schools interested in being part of the program can register for a Healthy Zone account to access resources, share ideas and connect with peers.
The application process for the 2013-14 school year will open in January.
The Healthy Zone School Recognition Program is made possible by support from Oncor, Texas Health Resources and Enterprise Rent-A-Car.