Four deserving San Diego County school districts have been awarded $1,000 mini-grants for wellness policy implementation, furthering their efforts to create healthy environments and programs to reduce childhood obesity.
Vista Unified, Cajon Valley Union, Encinitas Union and two San Diego Unified schools, Hamilton and Birney Elementary, all received grants sponsored by the Junior League of San Diego. Representatives from each district were awarded the grants at the San Diego County Childhood Obesity Summit held at the Town & County Hotel in Mission Valley. The San Diego County Childhood Obesity Initiative hosted the event that brought out more then 500 attendees.
"One of our parents applied for the Wellness Policy grant and we got it!" said Carol Lord, representative and Physical Education Teacher at Birney Elementary. "Our students are really enthusiastic about being healthy and this grant is going to help us provide wonderful nutritious programs for our school."
Hamilton and Birney Elementary Schools will use grant funds for nutrition classes for their students and Vista Unified will use their grant to expand efforts into parent education and parent nutrition classes. Cajon Valley Union will use the grant to partner with their local recreation department to enhance physical activity, and Encinitas Union will partner with community organizations to provide nutrition education for underprivileged families.
"The Childhood Obesity Summit was gratifying as it was a it was an indication of the commitment and expertise that many San Diego individuals and organizations have to help reverse the obesity trend in our county's children. The information from presenters and the enthusiasm of the participants serve as a reminder that schools are not alone in the goal of preventing obesity and supporting healthier students" said Mary Blackman, Health and Physical Education Coordinator.
The summit included two break-out sessions, including a panel discussion moderated by Encinitas Union School District Superintendent Lean King. The panel of speakers discussed strategies to reduce childhood obesity.
School districts throughout the county have adopted wellness policies that will soon be accessible on-line, on the San Diego County Childhood Obesity Initiative website at http://ourcommunityourkids.org/.
"There are a remarkable number of great things going on in this county to improve the health and fitness of our students," said County Superintendent Dr. Randy Ward as he spoke at the summit's session on Building Healthy Schools And Bright Futures. "Some of the programs have been high-profile and highly publicized, while others have been quiet, but nonetheless very important."