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MISSISSIPPI OPENING DAY SPOTLIGHT

Northeast Lauderdale Middle School - Meridian
Sponsored by: Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi Foundation

Armory news article

Northeast Lauderdale Middle School Joins Project Fit America
Published: October 18, 2009 12:42 am

Project Fit America has teamed up with Northeast Lauderdale Middle School to help get students physically fit in Meridian.

On Tuesday Northeast will formally take the role of Lauderdale County host and model school for Project Fit America in the school's gymnasium at 7763 Highway 39 North, from 9 a.m.-10 a.m.

Since 1980 childhood obesity has tripled according to the U.S. Surgeon General's report.

In answer to that alarming trend, Project Fit America provides a research-based solution that works. Formed in 1990, PFA is a nonprofit organization that donates all inclusive fitness equipment to schools creating new opportunities for children to be active, fit, and healthy as part of the everyday school experience.

Programming includes state of the art outdoor fitness equipment that is specifically designed to address the areas where children fail fitness tests, indoor physical education equipment, curriculum materials, and teacher training. PFA also provides support to the school for two years.

The primary sponsor for the PFA project in Mississippi is The Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi Foundation. Schools are selected by way of a local grant program. PFA operates in more than 730 schools in more than 300 cities in 40 states.

"PHysical education and fitness related activities continue to be cut and/or poorly funded, at a time when childhood obesity and related illnesses are at epidemic levels," PFA Executive Director Stacey Cook said. "Our children's health is too important to sit idly by, which is why we applaud Northeast Lauderdale Middle School for taking this leadership role to bring programming to Lauderdale County."

The lack of fitness and health awareness contributes to many problems as cited by classroom teachers. Some examples include lack of self-esteem and hyperactivity.

The findings are the basis for The Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi Foundation sponsoring of Project Fit America.

"This program is a showcase for the long-term commitment we have made to the health and well being of children and families of our community," said Wade Overstreet, director of The Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi Foundation.

Northeast Lauderdale Middle School staff and students, district officials, along with representatives from The Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi Foundation will dedicate the project launch with the kids demonstrating PFA. Please join us as we work to turn around sedentary lifestyles of our county's youth.

BY THE NUMBERS

• 6 million American children are estimated to be overweight enough to endanger their health according to the government.

• 5 million children are on the threshold of being overweight but the problem is growing more extreme and widespread.

 
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