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Healthy program 'rolled out' at TJES
30 August 2007

BISMARCK (UTN) Students at Theodore Jamerson Elementary School (TJES) on the campus of United Tribes Technical College now have their very own fleet of brand new bicycles.

      Twenty-five new bikes and helmets were delivered August 30 as part of a new program called Eat Right and Ride.

New bikes
Hayden Strong Heart (Standing Rock), age 9, a TJES student in grade four, demonstrates his riding technique on a new bike provided through the Eat Right and Ride program at United Tribes Technical College.

      Eat Right and Ride was developed by the college's USDA Extension Land Grant Department and funded by a $10,000 grant from the General Mills Foundation.

      "For these young people we are connecting the fun of bike riding with being healthy," said Karen Paetz, UTTC Land Grant Programs director. "We will teach about nutrition and physical activity. It's all aimed at countering the trend that shows American Indian youngsters are disproportionately affected by obesity, diabetes, and suicide."

      UTTC is one of 50 community-based organizations or schools across the country that received General Mills grants totaling $500,000 to support innovative youth nutrition and fitness programs.

      Eat Right and Ride will promote fitness and nutrition to the children of United Tribes college students who attend TJES in kindergarten through grade eight.

      The grant is part of the General Mills Champions for Healthy Kids Program, a partnership of General Mills, the American Dietetic Association Foundation, and the President's Council on Physical Fitness.

      According to General Mills, a recent evaluation of the program showed that the greatest behavior change among children was an increase in physical activity. But awareness of the importance of good nutrition such as eating fruits and vegetables also increased.

      On the day the bikes were delivered, Officer Mark Keller of the Burleigh County Sheriff's Department provided bike safety instruction to the TJES students and SuAnn Schmitz, nutrition coordinator, UTTC-USDA Extension Land Grant Programs, emphasized eating right and physical activity.

      The youngsters will be able to ride the bikes by checking them out from college's Strengthening Lifestyle program located in the campus wellness center.

      According to TJES Principal Sam Azure, 207 students attend the school. It is the highest attendance the school has recorded since opening in 1971.

      For more information contact Sam Azure, principal, Theodore Jamerson Elementary School, 701-255-3285 x 1304, or SuAnn Schmitz, nutrition coordinator, UTTC-USDA Extension Land Grant Program, x 1397 or sschmitz@uttc.edu.


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