Advocates study ways to encourage healthier lifestyles for kids

lifestyle_healthnewsBy Michaela Gibson Morris

Daily Journal

TUPELO – School health advocates were gobbling up resources to get kids moving more and eating smarter in Tupelo on Tuesday.

More than 150 educators, child nutrition leaders and school nurses from 47 school districts were registered for the annual Wellness Summit at HealthWorks! children’s health education center. They covered new Smart Snack regulations, healthy school policy updates and ways to get physical activity and health education into the classroom.

“We’re looking for more creative ways to implement and promote healthier lifestyles,” said Sheila Amacker, child nutrition director and co-wellness coordinator for Pearl River County Schools. “We have to do everything we possibly can with less.”

The Office of Healthy Schools showed off the five-minute Move to Learn segments it created in collaboration with the Bower Foundation. Already, 20 five-minute segments are available free on movetolearnms.org. Another 10 featuring Lawhorn Elementary School’s Terry Leigh Clayton will be available next year.

Physical activity improves cognitive skills, academic performance and classroom behavior, said Scott Clements, director for the Mississippi Department of Education Office of Healthy Schools and Child Nutrition.

“Everywhere we win by getting kids up and moving,” Clements said.

The event was the fifth time HealthWorks! has hosted the summit for educators and school health advocates.

“HealthWorks! continues to strive to be a resource for health education,” said Kathy Tucker, the center’s seamstress of strategy.

michaela.morris@journalinc.com