AURORA, Colo. - The Rocky Mountain Prevention Research Center (RMPRC) will celebrate its success in increasing physical activity and healthy eating in rural schools on Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2013 from 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Alamosa Community Recreation Center.
The `Healthy Students + Healthy Schools = Academic Success’ event will offer a variety of sessions, panels, and information booths throughout the day, and is expected to attract school and health professionals from throughout the San Luis Valley and Southeast Colorado.
For three years, the `Healthy Eaters, Lifelong Movers’ (HELM) Project has supported San Luis Valley and Southeast Colorado schools in implementing healthy eating and physical activity initiatives.
The project is directed by Elaine Belansky, PhD, associate director of the RMPRC and assistant professor at the Colorado School of Public Health along with Nick Cutforth, PhD, professor at the University of Denver and adjunct professor at RMPRC.
HELM has two key components. The first is Assess, Identify, Make It Happen (AIM) and the second is the San Luis Valley Physical Education Academy (PEA).
Thanks to HELM, students have increased activity levels by 20 percent during physical education class. Meanwhile, schools have made an average of four changes to help boost healthy eating and physical activity during the school day.
While physical activity and healthy eating help curb obesity and related diseases, research shows that diet and exercise are also associated with learning.
The HELM Project is funded by The Colorado Health Foundation which donated $1.86 million to the effort.
`Healthy Students + Healthy Schools = Academic Success’ will present evidence-based strategies that schools can use to help students get the nutrition and exercise needed to perform at their best in the classroom and beyond.
Sessions will feature local experts, guests from schools throughout the region, and statewide leaders in school nutrition and physical education.
Food service staff, classroom teachers, PE teachers, principals, superintendents, school board members, and public health personnel are especially encouraged to attend.
The HELM project is funded by a grant from the Colorado Health Foundation. The Rocky Mountain Prevention Research Center is funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Cooperative Agreement U48 DP 1938.