Inspiring Healthy Lifestyles
At Waterfront Elementary in Buffalo, New York, students campaigned for a salad bar in the cafeteria. At another school, students participated in a walk-a-thon, while kids at North Park Academy had a pedometer relay race.
The kids dreamed up these activities after participating in WNED ThinkBright’s b-Healthy for Life Youth Summit.
Attended by more than 40 groups and 350 students, the summit e quipped students to plan and execute hands-on, change-oriented projects in their communities.
“We provided health and wellness-related information,” said WNED Community Outreach Coordinator Donielle Psaradelis. “But, the big bang was the idea of a power-packed message. Showing students how to speak, how to plan and express their message. It’s one thing to have an idea. But you have to know how to make it happen.”
John Kirkwood’s Batavia High School students applied the planning and execution skills acquired at the Summit.
“My sports medicine class attended the youth summit at WNED,” Kirkwood said. “It was the stimulus for an amazing project. The next day my students were already e-mailing, talking, and planning. It just took off.”
In consultation with medical professionals, the students created a one-on-one mentoring program for fitness and wellness. Kirkwood’s students became personal trainers, meeting three or four times weekly with “client” volunteers over 12 weeks.
“The whole time, WNED was involved,” Kirkwood said. “WNED kept the students focused and accountable. This project was exactly what I hoped it would be. The summit was the catalyst.”