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Middle Schoolers Develop Health Program for Elementary Students



In 2010, the predominantly Latino city of Corpus Christi, Texas, was labeled the “fattest city in the nation” by Men’s Health magazine. A group of local middle school students were not happy about this designation and wanted to do something about it. After speaking to friends and teachers, the students reached out to influential community members to develop interest and support for a health program for elementary students called “Mission FitPossible.” Three years later, the students were high school students and they would wake up an hour early to bring Mission FitPossible to nearby elementary students. Next Generation to Inherit Fattest City in Texas Corpus Christi, Texas (59.7% Latino), was labeled the “fattest city in the nation” in 2010. Sarita Damaraju and Doug ...

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Dia de Salud Increases Health Equity in Latino Community in Oregon



Sarah Cantril started the Huerto de la Familia program to focus on boosting health equity by helping Latino families live healthier lives in Eugene, Ore. In trying a new approach to bring health information to Latino families, Julia Ridgeway-Diaz and other officials with Huerto de la Familia decided to start an annual health fair, called Dia de Salud (Health Day). This free, culturally tailored annual health fair brings Latino families together to receive free eye exams, blood tests, and other health services that would normally be unavailable to their community. What role do Latinos play in their health?  Huerto de la Familia has been assisting Latino immigrant and migrant families in Eugene, Ore. (7.8% Latino), since 1999, when Sarah Cantril formed the organization from a ...

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Hospital Teams with Schools to Boost Wellness for Florida Students



RJ Manchester and Erica Asti, staffers at the Florida Hospital for Children, along with Dr. Angela Fals and her team, spent years working with obese children and families in their Central Florida CCFW clinic. The local childhood overweight and obesity rates ranged from 32% in Orange County (28.7% Latino population) to 64% in Osceola County (48.6% Latino). The team was growing increasingly concerned about younger and younger patients with obesity-related health complications. “We were having some of the youngest patients we’ve ever had in the weight and wellness clinic with pre-diabetes and diabetes,” Asti said. They wanted to step up in a big way. An underlying issue: No P.E. Asti and Manchester and the CCFW team discovered that many parents misidentified their ...

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PE Teachers Bring 60 Minutes of Daily Activity to Students Before or After School



Many Latino students don’t meet daily recommendations of physical activity because they lack access to quality activity opportunities during school and they are burdened by barriers to access quality activity opportunities after school, such as safety, availability and cost. Kids that don’t meet daily recommendations of physical activity are at increased risk for obesity and other adverse health outcomes. Two PE teachers in Edmonds School District in Washington developed a before/after school program as well as a recess program to help kids reach 60 minutes of recommended daily activity on most days of the week. They developed these programs to be implemented in schools to reduce accessibility barriers associated with safety, availability and cost. EMERGENCE: Awareness: Jennifer ...

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Kids Get Healthy Eating Lessons at Farmers Markets in Oregon



A farmer's market is a lot of fun—for parents only, usually. Kids often just tag along, glumly, as their parents busily shop for fresh fruits and vegetables. That is, until the Market Sprouts Kids Club. Kaely Summers and other farmer's market managers in Oregon teamed up to create the Market Sprouts Kids Club program to teach Latino kids and other kids who come to the market about farming, fresh produce, and healthy eating. Now kids ages 5-12 who visit local markets, like Summers' Forest Grove Farmer's Market in Forest Grove, Ore., (23.1% Latino), do fun, interactive activities alongside farmers and volunteers who teach about healthier foods and healthier choices! Farmer's Markets and Children in Oregon Officials with Adelante Mujeres, a non-profit organization focusing on ...

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“Fields for All” Brings Soccer & Futsal Courts to Recreation Deserts in Multnomah County, Ore.



Many Latino kids live in “recreation deserts,” which lack access to safe, affordable physical activity opportunities. Therefore, they often do not meet daily physical activity recommendations and are at increased risk for obesity. One way to reduce these barriers and increase physical activity among Latino children is to provide free, safe recreation facilities in their neighborhood with culturally relevant programming. Two community-driven initiatives in Multnomah County, Ore., have crossed paths in their efforts to reduce recreation deserts in disadvantaged neighborhoods by building and fixing soccer fields and futsal courts. Soccer Loving Kids Live in Recreation Desert Oregon residents Shawn Levy and Ricki Ruiz love soccer and know it is good for kids and adults. But each ...

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Creating a ‘Magic Bean’ Curriculum for Healthy Nutrition



What so great about beans? Grad student Kelly Atterberry and mentor Carol Miles have the answer in their new bean-based garden and nutrition curriculum for K-12 students in Washington. By encouraging kids to learn to garden and try nutritious pulse crops (beans, lentils, peas, etc.), they hope the curriculum can help combat obesity and diet-related health problems among children. Why Beans? Kelly Atterberry originally wanted to go nursing school. Then she learned about agriculture and growing healthy food while working on a farm and again later while working in the Agriculture Research Station at Washington State University (WSU) in Mount Vernon, Wash. (33.7 % Latino). So she switched her career course. As a grad student at WSU, she studied agriculture, which united her ...

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Innovative Health Education for Kids, by Kids in Schools



In a Florida school district that didn’t provide health classes in high schools, a health educator, Risa Berrin, and her sister, Valerie Berrin, worked together to raise the bar on health education with their Health Information Project (HIP). HIP is a peer-to-peer program that allows students to teach each other about health problems, prevention, and how to access to local health resources toward reducing obesity, suicide, depression and other issues. EMERGENCE Awareness: Risa Berrin was a health reporter for her college newspaper when she first started seeing how teens were unaware or misinformed about health and prevention. She became part of the solution, starting a career as a certified human growth and reproductive health educator. While teaching law classes at a Miami-area ...

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Dr. ‘Dunk the Junk’ Uses Counter Marketing to Teach Kids Better Nutrition



Can a rap song or graffiti art help kids eat healthier? Dr. Kevin Strong wanted to give it a shot and compete with the unhealthy marketing that kids—especially Latinos—are bombarded with daily. So founded the “Dunk the Junk” movement to work in schools and through social media to tailor health messages to kids in a fun way to counter junk food advertising. He uses rap, hip-hop dance, basketball, and graffiti art to change what kids think is cool to eat. “I love basketball and I would see a million junk food ads every time I watched,” Strong told Style101 Magazine. “I was just really saddened by the all children that are coming in [to my clinic] real young, devastated by junk food exposure.” The Need for Counter Marketing In his many years as a community ...

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