Student Wellness Ambassadors from Towns and Woodson elementary schools joined representatives from The Links, Inc., and Community Voices of the Morehouse College School of Medicine to help kick off a childhood obesity prevention program Thursday at the School of Medicine. (Community Voices promotes projects to help find ways to increase access to quality health care for the under-served and uninsured.)
Gail Anderson, wellness coordinator at the School of Medicine, led students in a series of low-impact aerobic activities to begin the morning, followed by a press conference hosted by WXIA’s Karyn Greer and WAGA’s Aungelique Proctor.
During the event, Mayor Kasim Reed also encouraged students to embrace the program, which is aligned with first lady Michelle Obama‘s Let’s Move campaign to prevent childhood obesity — a growing concern in the United States, particularly among African-American children.
Dr. Delores Bolden Stamps, Southern Area Coordinator for The Links, and Community Voices director Dr. Henri Treadwell, chair of the Commission on Childhood Obesity Prevention, also attended the event.
“We want to work on collaborating with Community Voices,” Dr. Bolden Stamps said. “We need to bring awareness to the problem and the need to work toward a solution. We plan to identify prevention measures that work for African-American children, our target audience, and look at systemic causes.”
Kim Bow Sundy, senior manager for public relations and multicultural marketing for corporate partner General Mills, also announced a $10,000 donation to the program. Following Mayor Reed’s address, guests heard from Dr. John Maupin, Jr., president of the Morehouse School of Medicine, and keynote speaker Dr. James Gavin, Clinical Professor of Medicine at Emory and Indiana universities’ schools of medicine.
APS’ Student Wellness Ambassadors program allows students to help with the implementation of local school wellness plans by acting as hosts at health fairs, developing wellness bulletin boards, planting gardens, etc.