Foundation Hosts 2016 Youth Summit on Healthy Behaviors
#MoveMore #EatWell #LiveClean
More than 500 students and teachers from throughout Central Louisiana came together at the 2016 Youth Summit on Healthy Behaviors to learn how to become advocates for healthy choices and policy changes in their schools and communities. The summit is a one day event designed by youth, for youth, and is hosted annually by The Rapides Foundation. This year’s event was held October 5 at the Alexandria Riverfront Center, and is the sixth summit hosted by the Foundation. Click here to see the 2016 Youth Summit Photo Gallery.
The theme of the 2016 summit was #MoveMore #EatWell #LiveClean. The summit is planned each year by a group of youth advocates who serve on the Foundation’s Youth Advisory Council (YAC). Over the past several months, YAC members worked to plan an informative, fun and motivational summit experience for all attendees.
Presenters included regionally and nationally recognized advocates in the areas of nutrition, tobacco prevention, physical activity, and substance and alcohol abuse prevention. The summit provided advocacy training for students and teachers presented through tracts focused on those topics. Energizer breaks throughout the day included examples of brain breaks that can be used in the classroom and a Zumba workout to keep energy high.
Youth Advisory Council members help lead energizer breaks throughout the day.
Summit attendance is part of grant funding to Cenla school districts from The Rapides Foundation’s Healthy Behaviors School District Partnership Grant. Participating school districts for the 2016-17 school year are: Allen, Avoyelles, Catahoula, Grant, Natchitoches, Rapides and Vernon.
The Youth Summit also includes an optional Expo Project, where schools can create a display which showcases the impact of grant activities at their schools to raise awareness about healthy behaviors. The displays are judged by summit presenters with the top three winners receiving additional funding to put toward their school's annual "Kick Butts Day" tobacco prevention activity. Display winners were: Grant High School, First Place; Pitkin High School, Second Place; and Grant Junior High School, Third Place.
Joe Rosier, president and CEO of The Rapides Foundation, explained the Foundation’s focus on health behaviors with Central Louisiana school districts is part of a comprehensive, multi-level approach to having a meaningful impact on chronic disease prevention in the region. “The Foundation addresses health behaviors as part of our mission to improve the health status of Central Louisiana,” Rosier said. “Through our Healthy Behaviors School District Partnership Grant, we hope to positively impact as many Central Louisiana students, educators and staff as possible by providing strategies to raise awareness about the importance of tobacco control, substance and alcohol abuse prevention, increased physical activity and proper nutrition.”
Grant High School received First Place in the Expo Project.