In recognition of the schools’ efforts to combat obesity and encourage students to embrace a healthier lifestyle, the American Heart Association (AMA) recently named the school an American Heart Association Gold Fit Friendly School. This makes Jesse Keen Elementary the only school in Polk County to receive this prestigious recognition.
Students at Jesse Keen Elementary are just a heartbeat away from a healthier lifestyle thanks in part to the efforts of Physical Education Coach Brenda Bohlinger. According to Bohlinger, over the last couple of months they’ve made great strides in helping to promote a heart-healthy lifestyle. Some of these efforts include using a curriculum that emphasizes the importance of exercise, increasing the number of healthy eating options available at the school, participating in school backed fundraising efforts for both the AMA and the American Diabetes Association and pioneering a Walk Safe Program at the school.
According to the Food Research and Action Center, in the U.S.:
68.8 % of adults are overweight or obese; 35.7% are obese
31.8% of children and adolescents are overweight or obese; 16.9% are obese
Obesity rates have more than doubled in adults and children since 1970.
Pictured: Coach Brenda Bohlinger (center) surrounded by kids in her physical education class.