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COMMUNITY LEADERS LAUNCH “YEAR OF THE HEALTHY CHILD”

The local initiative brings together efforts to promote healthy lifestyles for children.  Find out more about how you can get involved.

Shreveport Mayor Cedric Glover and Bossier City Mayor Lo Walker have proclaimed the 2011-12 school year as the “Year of the Healthy Child” in recognition of the work of schools and local community groups to promote healthy lifestyles for our children as well as to draw attention to the growing rate of childhood obesity (31% of Louisiana students are obese) and the need for better coordination of effective initiatives.

Heathly Children “Year of the Healthy Child” is the brainchild of Krewe de les Femmes Mystique, a local Mardi Gras krewe and philanthropic organization. The group developed an interest in the idea following outreach for a school lunch recipe contest. “Research into possible community support for the contest led to the discovery of an incredible amount of work being done,” said the krewe’s philanthropic chair, Bess Elder. “[We] decided to pursue a partnership with all of these groups for purposes of increased exposure and coordination of major events. ‘Year of the Healthy Child’ is not an organization, but a consortium of groups already doing great things,” said Elder. In addition to city mayors, school Superintendents D.C. Machen (Bossier) and Dr. Gerald Dawkins (Caddo) have also signed on in support of the initiative. “With children spending 20% of their time in school and eating one-third of their meals here, it’s important that schools play a leadership role in helping parents and communities find a solution to the obesity epidemic,” said Dawkins. “There are many different groups doing exceptional work in this community to improve the health of our children. ‘Year of the Healthy Child’ will pull all of that together, helping us to work more effectively,” added Dawkins. The Year of the Healthy Child officially kicks off Monday, August 15th from 4pm – 6pm at the Louisiana State University Health Shreveport School of Allied Health Professions, Faculty Clinic, 1450 Claiborne Avenue, Shreveport (ground floor). Proclamations will be read and participating organizations will share information on their current and future healthy initiatives.

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