HARRISTOWN -- A grade school principal wasn't going to let a poor health ranking bring her students down. WCIA-3's Kelsey Gibbs tells us how she's Taking Action.
"Fitness is a big part of my life and I know how much it has helped me and it helps every aspect of my life and I want to share that with my students as well if I can be a role model for them."
Macon County is rated as one of the state's worst counties for overall health in 2013.
"102 out of 102. I have to do something. I just felt like, you know, it was my role in education that we have a lot to teach the kids, but in addition, to teaching the reading and writing and all these important things, I want the kids to be healthy too."
It wasn't long after Jill Reedy's trip to the YMCA that a school nutrition and activity program quickly made its way into Harristown classrooms.
"I was talking with Principal Reedy about this program, the Y5210 Program, about getting kids healthier, healthier behaviors to take into the classroom and to take home with them."
Students are required to participate in gym class everyday, but a typical workout routine also takes place right in class.
"It's been really nice to see them moving in the classroom and that ten minute little brain-break where they're stretching with the bands, I think, helps get them focused, helps with their mood, just so many positive things that then they can get back to their studies and get to work."
These healthy habits go beyond physical activity. The students are also learning how to read nutrition labels. Starting children out young with healthy habits can improve their overall health as adults. Statistics show kids who are obese in preschool are five times more likely to be obese as adults.
MACON COUNTY -- One principal is teaching her students new, healthy habits. She's Taking Action to get them up and moving.
The Harristown principal was afraid her students weren't getting enough exercise, so she teamed up with the YMCA to get them doing the Y5210 Program. Four other schools have followed her lead. She hopes it will help kids made healthier choices now and in the future.
Obese children are more likely to stay obese as adults, so the YMCA's Y5210 Program is free for schools wishing to sign up. The year, Macon County is ranked 93 in overall health.
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