Sonora, CA — A luncheon was held today to kick off Tuolumne County Schools “Fit for the Future” program. The program is dedicated to eliminating childhood obesity through fitness activities, nutrition information, and student assessments. The program targets students in the 5th and 7th grades, this year all Tuolumne County Schools are participating.
25th District Assemblywoman Kristin Olsen and Program Coordinator Brie Furguson made remarks at the event on how much of a positive impact fitness and healthy habits have on students academically, emotionally, and in avoiding long term health problems. It was noted that schools have had to cut back on physical education programs and that obesity is a very real problem facing today’s youth.
The “Fit For the Future” program is coordinated by the Tuolumne County Superintendent of Schools Office, Sonora Regional Medical Center and Tuolumne County Public Health.
Student assessments will be conducted by Program Coordinator and Sonora Regional Medical Center nurse/instructor Brie Ferguson and Curtis Creek’s former physical education teacher, Paul McIlroy. McIlroy now works out of the Tuolumne County Schools Superintendent’s office full time for the program visiting all Tuolumne County schools.
Students are taught and evaluated in six areas, strength by doing pushups and situps, two aspects of flexibility, cardio (by running a mile) and nutrition which includes evaluating students body mass index (BMI).
Last year three schools participated in the pilot program, Jamestown, Curtis Creek and Twain Harte. Tuolumne County Superintendent of schools, Joe Silva says, “Last year we met our goal, we wanted to be above the 50th percentile with all of the kids participating.” Statewide only 33% can meet that goal. Silva says, “This year our goal is for 50% of the classes to be physically fit meaning they score six out of six in the state standards and we think we can do that.” Silva mentioned if students meet the goals there will be a drawing for their family to go to Disneyland. There are also plans for a community One Mile Run event in support of the program’s fitness goals.
More information about last year’s results is in the news story “Students Fit For The Future” here.
The program is funded anomalously by a community member through the Sonora Area Foundation, by Dr. Stolp’s CTG Grant, and also by large grant from Blue Cross.