Discussion for the Community Foundation of East Mississippi's Breakfast Series Friday focused on links between physical education and academic excellence.
Mississippi ranks as one of the highest childhood obesity states in the nation, and now the state ranks at the top of states working to combat obesity. But how do we start?
"I think it's important to start with children, because these are lifestyle behaviors that get established earlier," said Therese Hanna of the Center for Mississippi Health Policy. "And it's a lot easier to address them with children. A good way to address them with children is to address the school environment because they're in that environment so much."
In our area, Northeast Elementary was awarded one of the John D. Bower grants. The grant can bring up to $173,000 into the school over the next three years, to be used to implement programs to improve weaknesses in physical education programs and increase the health of the students and staff at the school.
"I hope to see our children beginning to see the positive aspects of healthy activity," said Northeast Elementary School nurse, Robin Hull. "I think we live in a society that tends to have children indoors sitting on couches, watching those videos, playing those video games. Hopefully, we will be able to introduce them to activities that promote health by getting them outside, by getting them moving once again, introducing that it can be fun."
Other plans also include community events that will help spread these healthy ideas throughout the community.