Monday, January 11, 2010

Atlanta Non-Profit, HealthMPowers, Launches 'Catch a Teacher Being Healthy' Program

/PRNewswire/ -- Students will soon be trying to catch their teachers exhibiting recommended health behaviors due to a new school staff wellness program being launched by HealthMPowers, a non-profit organization committed to increasing health knowledge and promoting health-enhancing behaviors. "Catch a Teacher Being Healthy" is designed to not only promote good health among staff but to also encourage them to be strong, positive health role models for students.

For a two-week period between January 18 and February 12, 2010, students in participating schools will try to "catch" teachers eating fruits and vegetables or leading classroom exercises. Once seen, the student will announce the behavior and initial the appropriate health symbol on the teacher's classroom chart, provided by HealthMPowers and funded in part by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia Foundation and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education (SNAP Ed).

"In light of New Year's resolutions, which often revolve around health and fitness, this program is very timely in encouraging and supporting school staff to keep their resolutions," said Christi Kay, executive director of HealthMPowers. "As with all of HealthMPowers' programming, the goal of "Catch a Teacher Being Healthy" is to change the way we think about positive health decisions and to make them second nature."

The idea for "Catch a Teacher Being Healthy" originated at Woodland Middle School, located near Atlanta in East Point, and was further developed by Union Point Elementary School in Greene County.

"Having noticed that students really look to their teachers for cues on healthy choices, we figured we could make a game out of it in order to encourage all the teachers to make healthy choices," said Lisa Brown, health and physical education teacher at Union Point Elementary School.

The program currently has 62 schools in 26 counties registered to participate, including approximately 3,400 staff members.

"This is a fun and educational way to encourage both students and teachers to improve their health and lifestyles," said Monye Connolly, president, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia. "We believe the work HealthMPowers is doing in Georgia schools is an important step in fighting the childhood obesity epidemic statewide and we are a proud partner in this fight."

HealthMPowers provides all the schools it serves with numerous tools and resources throughout the year to promote healthier lifestyles, such as tracking tools to help students monitor their fitness and nutrition, a nine-station Body Walk, and newsletters for both parents and children.

For more information on HealthMPowers, visit

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