New website touts academic, health initiatives

Published 5:25 pm Tuesday, August 29, 2017

A healthy body isn’t much without a healthy mind.
Seeing a need to help with children’s health, the Tennessee Department of Education and Tennessee Department of Health recently sponsored a website, Active Students, Active Learners, which was recently unveiled to the public.
Individuals can visit to search out a treasure trove of evidence-based materials that go into detail about the impact of physical activity on reading and math scores, along with the importance of community engagement, physical education and physical activity before, during and after school.
“We know health and education are intrinsically linked, and there is evidence to suggest kids that get regular physical activity go further in school and later have more economic success than those who don’t,” TDH Commissioner John Dreyzehner, MD, MPH, said in a statement issued to the Elizabethton Star. “Active students tend to do better with attention, concentration, behavior and enjoy better overall physical and mental health than students who get little or no physical activity.”
Children and families in Carter County will be able reap the rewards of the program with different activities available right at home, according to Carter County Public Health Educator Jaime Lawson. Lawson commended the efforts of school districts already implementing different programs, like goNoodle, to promote health with children.
“It’s always great when two departments can come together for this kind of partnership,” Lawson said Tuesday. “The website offers all kinds of activities for children and families to have fun with, either at school or at home. There are so many different activities available in Carter County and Elizabethton. Whether it’s walking downtown or visiting a park, there are a lot of ways for children to stay active locally.”
Information provided on the website is presented in an “easy to understand format,” according to the TDH, and includes best practices, tools and resources and research evidence. Different activities are highlighted on the site, including reading, math, community engagement, and before & after school activities.
“We all want our students to continue to grow and learn, and we know that a strong part of their academic performance is their physical and mental health,” said Dr. Candice McQueen, state education commissioner. “With student wellness and success in mind, we are committed to providing resources to our districts and schools to further the well-being of all Tennessee children.”
Activity also continues to pick up at the Carter County Health Department with expansion underway. Lawson added that the public is invited to stop by the office to learn more about different programs going on in the community.

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