New program fighting childhood obesity in East Tennessee Schools

New program fighting childhood obesity in East Tennessee Schools

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At first glance it may look like any normal physical education class, but it is much more. At first glance it may look like any normal physical education class, but it is much more.
"This program basically gets children active first thing in the morning and it increases their physical activity levels," said Kindall Aaron, coordinator for the Coalition on Obesity, . "This program basically gets children active first thing in the morning and it increases their physical activity levels," said Kindall Aaron, coordinator for the Coalition on Obesity, .
The program is called "I A.M. Fit," and through $20,000 in grant money Aaron, along with East Tennessee Children's Hospital, has been able to bring it to nine local schools. The program is called "I A.M. Fit," and through $20,000 in grant money Aaron, along with East Tennessee Children's Hospital, has been able to bring it to nine local schools.
Children are also learning about the importance of a healthy diet. Children are also learning about the importance of a healthy diet.
By DREW GARDNER
6 News Reporter

CLINTON (WATE) - Several East Tennessee schools are fighting childhood obesity with a new fitness program.

At first glance it may look like any normal physical education class, but it is much more.

"This program basically gets children active first thing in the morning and it increases their physical activity levels," said Kindall Aaron, coordinator for the Coalition on Obesity, .

The program is called "I A.M. Fit," and through $20,000 in grant money Aaron, along with East Tennessee Children's Hospital, has been able to bring it to nine local schools.

The 30 minute morning workout not only gets the kids up and moving, but teaches them a new fitness skill each week.

"It's a simple skill that they can do on at home like a sit up or push up or a plank," said Aaron.

The class also teaches the kids why the exercises are done and what muscles they work.

It's not all business though. The children also get to a chance to have some fun. A popular game among the kids is Toilet Tag.

"It's where we have a tag game and when someone tags, you have to squat and put your hand up," said fourth grader Faith Phillips.

Children like Faith are also learning about the importance of a healthy diet.

Faith's mom, Polly Phillips, says she's noticed a huge change in her daughter since the program began.

"She's become more confident and energetic, and I think that's wonderful," said Phillips. "The confidence that this program has built is incredible."

The mission now is to expand the program to other schools, which Aaron says is very easy to do.

"The program can be run by a mom or a volunteer or a teacher," said Aaron. "It can be ran by anyone."

She hopes once others see the success they will be eager to jump on board.

Participating schools:

Knox County:
  • Green Magnet STEM Academy
  • Inskip
  • Norwood
  • South Knoxville
  • Dogwood Elementary was the pilot for the I A.M. Fit program in 2013
Anderson County:
  • Andersonville
  • Briceville
  • Fairview
  • Grand Oaks
  • Lake City
For more information on the I A.M. Fit program, contact Kindall Aaron with East Tennessee Children’s Hospital at kaaron@etch.com or 865-541-8218.

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