Columbia University Medical Center

NY-Presbyterian/Columbia Exercise Program Goes National

NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center’s CHALK/Just Move program is one of three programs selected by ChildObesity180, a national organization comprising public, nonprofit, academic, and private-sector leaders, for its Active Schools Acceleration Project (ASAP).

The project gives schools across the country the opportunity to apply for a grant to implement CHALK/Just Move or one of the two other model programs into their curriculum. The project was announced Feb. 28 in Chicago by first lady Michelle Obama, as part of her “Let’s Move! Active Schools” campaign.

In a statement from NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, Dr. Steven J. Corwin, CEO, said:

“We’re delighted that NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center’s CHALK/Just Move program has been selected as a promising approach to increase children’s physical activity and reduce the growing obesity epidemic in our nation.

Fostering good health and well-being is an integral part of our patient care and community service mission as an academic medical center, and we applaud Mrs. Obama and her ‘Let’s Move! Active Schools’ initiative and ChildObesity180′s ASAP project for promoting healthy lifestyles among school children.”

The CHALK/Just Move program was designed by NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center and its Ambulatory Care Network to introduce physical activity to schools in urban areas with limited recreational space. The CHALK/Just Move program demonstrates that even without a gymnasium or outdoor play space, a school can become an active one.

With grants from ChildObesity180, schools across the country can implement the CHALK/Just Move program, which brings physical activities to urban schools that have little recreational space.

With the CHALK/Just Move program, teachers use a set of activity cards to lead their class in aerobic, yoga, stretching, and meditation exercises—getting kids up and active right at their desks. Exercises are tied to the common core state standards, allowing teachers to weave in math, science, and English activities to complement the day’s lesson plan.

Schools are a great place for boosting children’s physical activity, and research also shows that physically active kids do better academically and behaviorally. Teachers value the CHALK/Just Move program both as a transition tool to move students between subjects and as a “reset button” to help focus the class.

“The CHALK/Just Move program has shown that bringing physical activity programs into schools can be simple, fun, and effective,” said Dr. Dodi Meyer, medical director of CHALK/Just Move, associate clinical professor of pediatrics at Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons, and a pediatrician at the Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia. “This grant opportunity will help make physical activity an integral, welcome part of the daily lives of children across the country.”

Teachers, parents, coaches, and other school wellness “champions” who are ready to take a leadership role in bringing physical activity to their school are encouraged to apply for an ASAP Acceleration Grant. Applications will be accepted through April 22, 2013, and $1 million in total will support the programs. For more information, visit ActiveSchoolsASAP.

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