PRC School District hold a Fall Wellness Walking event

Published 7:00 am Saturday, November 19, 2016

SHOCKING: Shari Franklin, assistant principal at PRC Lower Elementary, shows a student how much sugar is in her favorite drink at the “Rethink Your Drink” booth.

SHOCKING: Shari Franklin, assistant principal at PRC Lower Elementary, shows a student how much sugar is in her favorite drink at the “Rethink Your Drink” booth.

Every year, school districts statewide are required to have wellness events created by their wellness committees. Thursday evening, Pearl River Central School District held their first fall wellness walk event on the walking trail of the middle school campus.
School District personnel invited the community to lace up their shoes and walk the trail while stopping at each of the six wellness booths to learn how to maintain a healthy lifestyle. The booths included themes such as tobacco-free life, rethink your drink, spice of life, wash away, fitness facts and infused water.
“When most people hear wellness, they think of it being only physical health, but it is much more than that,” Sheila Amacker, co-wellness coordinator for the district, said.
She said that wellness consists of physical, social, mental and spiritual aspects.
Participants walked the track, learning helpful tips about how to preserve their personal wellness.
They started their wellness journey at the tobacco-free life booth, where PRC Upper Elementary School Nurse Benny Hollifield, and the district’s Clinical Social Worker Paula Russell, informed participants about the damaging effects smoking has on personal wellness.
“We are here to tell children that smoking is bad and if we can get that message across to them at an early age, they will have a better chance of not smoking when they get older,” Russell said.
She said the message is also directed to parents who smoke. The hope was that each student would share the dangers of smoking with their families.
Next, participants learned about how much sugar is in their drinks and safe alternatives. Assistant Principal of PRC Lower Elementary Shari Franklin talked with participants about how people sometimes don’t know exactly what they are putting in their bodies.
PRC High School Football Coach Seth Hayden handed out pedometers to children and showed them how to burn off what they eat.
“Kids just don’t understand how much they have to exercise in order to burn the calories of what they put inside themselves,” Hayden said.
For example, if a person ate a cheeseburger and fries, they must spend 141 minutes on the elliptical to burn off the 691 calories, according to Hayden’s handout. To burn off a glazed doughnut, a person must spend 88 minutes doing crunches to burn off the 242 calories.
The next stop described the health benefits of fall spices, such as cinnamon, cloves, ginger and nutmeg.
Cinnamon can help boost brain function, cloves can provide relief from headaches and control lung cancer in its early stages, ginger can reduce muscle soreness and nutmeg has natural pain-relieving characteristics, according to information presented at the event.
Another booth was dedicated to informing children about how to properly keep their hands clean.
“Lots of illnesses can be spread through children because of unsanitary hands and improper practices of sneezing and coughing,” Amy Kelley, a member of the PRC Middle School wellness committee, said.
She said teaching children at an early age how to keep themselves clean will hopefully become a habit as they get older.
Finally, participants were rewarded with fruit infused water to quench their thirst and demonstrate healthy alternatives to sugary drinks like soda.
“If we’ve changed the life of one person, then we did our job and we will continue to spread the word of how to achieve total wellness each and every year for that purpose,” Amacker said.

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