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Over 350 Attend Youth Summit on Healthy Behaviors

More than 350 Cenla youths and teachers came together at the 2013 Youth Summit on Healthy Behaviors to learn how to become advocates for healthy choices and policy changes in their schools and communities. Participants will use the summit training to implement Diet and Physical Activity and Tobacco Prevention and Control grants funded by The Rapides Foundation during the 2013-14 school year.

The one day summit was held on Tuesday, September 10, from 8:30 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. at the Alexandria Riverfront Center. The event was coordinated by Central Louisiana Area Health Education Center and funded by The Rapides Foundation.

Participants started the summit with the keynote address “Activate U: Active in what you eat, and what you do,” an interactive presentation that taught students how to get involved and take action in their communities to encourage people to eat healthy, be active and reject tobacco. The presentation was filled with games for students to play and inspiring videos spotlighting the efforts of other organizations around the country doing similar work. Activate U was presented by Community Blueprint, a Minnesota-based group that employs innovative strategies to engage communities around policy, prevention and advocacy initiatives. 

Summit training was broken into tracts focused on Tobacco Prevention, Nutrition and Physical Activity, or Staff Development for Adult Coordinators. The summit presenters were young adults or teens from across the country, who are advocates in the areas of tobacco prevention or nutrition and physical activity. The presenters shared their experiences and lessons learned with summit participants in multiple training sessions. 

The summit’s closing presentation featured Kellee McQuinn, founder of KidTribe, an international children’s obesity prevention fitness and nutrition education program with over 3.5 million participating kids and thousands of trained teachers throughout the U.S. and U.K. McQuinn is nicknamed “the Pied Piper with a boom box” by the L.A. Times, and her presentations and music videos have been featured at events such as The White House Easter Egg Roll, and on PBS, Discovery Kids, ABC News, and Exercise TV. McQuinn is an advocate for education, after-school programs, and the health of youths and families, and plays an active role in advocacy work and legislation at both state and federal levels. She is a key member for several collaboratives, task forces, and initiatives.
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