April 24, 2013
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Leanne Demery
The Johns Hopkins University and Waverly Elementary/Middle School have partnered to teach young students about the benefits of healthy eating and regular exercise through a program called Food as Medicine. A special program event, the Safari of Health Fair, will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday, April 26 at the school on 701 E. 34th St. Baltimore, MD 21218.
Food as Medicine is directed by the Maryland-D.C. Campus Compact AmeriCorps VISTA at the university’s Center for Social Concern. As the service-learning component of the program, the fair will give students in K-8 the opportunity to experience hands-on education about nutrition, health and fitness, as well as proper dental hygiene. Led by the Waverly sixth grade class, the health fair will give the older students a chance to influence their younger peers by helping them think critically about their food choices and the importance of exercise as they key to leading healthy lives.
The Food as Medicine program comes at an ideal time for Waverly Elementary/Middle School, which does not have a physical education or health teacher. In addition to the health fair, Johns Hopkins undergraduates apply their classroom knowledge of public health and science to the program by providing Waverly students with year-round weekly nutrition and fitness workshops.
Food as Medicine, which was first introduced to students last October, has become a hit at Waverly Elementary/Middle School. With Johns Hopkins undergraduates working with them, many of the young students have already started making healthy food choices such as eating more fresh fruits and less salt and sugar. The students have also established a club called the Healthy Society. “I’m going to start eating more fruit and the right amount of vitamins to keep my body powered and going,” one Waverly student said.
The Johns Hopkins and Waverly Elementary/Middle School partnership comes at an ideal time for the secondary school, which will move into a new $25 million building across the street from its current location. Organizers and participants say the fair and Food as Medicine program will help make up for the lack of a physical education program and health teacher at the elementary/middle school as it prepares for its move and a new beginning.
For more information about the Health Fair and Food as Medicine, please contact Leanne Demery at 410-516-4843 or 857-656-6715.
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