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Turnoff Week set for April 18-24

Schools and communities are holding activities April 18-24 for Turnoff Week, a nationally recognized week that encourages people to step away from their computer and TV screens, and engage in healthy activities.

The more time that people spend in front of electronics, the less active and unhealthier they become. It’s a simple but challenging fact, one that The Rapides Foundation is committed to changing, one week at a time.

Through grants funded by the Foundation, Central Louisiana organizations, communities and schools are sponsoring healthy activities for adults and children. The Rapides Foundation’s Diet and Physical Activity Initiative endorses Turnoff Week because research shows that reduction in screen time can improve a person’s health, which is at the heart of the initiative’s goals to increase physical activity and healthy eating for children and adults.

Schoolchildren across Cenla will be taking home log books to log their activities during Turnoff Week. They will be encouraging their families to join them. The following school and community events will be offered throughout Central Louisiana. For an up-to-date list of events, visit www.rapidesfoundation.org.

ALLEN PARISH
Kinder Elementary School will hold an assembly from 1-2 p.m. on Friday, April 15, to kick off Turnoff Week, urging students to “turn off the TV and get active.” Family Math Night featuring healthy snacks will be Tuesday, April 19.

Oberlin Elementary School’s Turnoff Week Bingo Night will be Tuesday, April 19, from 5-7 p.m. in the school gym. Prizes will include games that families can play at home, and all participants will receive information about health services and refreshments that are high in nutritional value.

At Oakdale Elementary School, students will play board games instead of working on computers during their computer lab classes.

Reeves High School will hold “Under the Trees for Turnoff Week” from 5-6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 19. Students, faculty and the Reeves community will be invited to reduce screen time while relaxing on blankets around the school campus with healthy snacks and a book. Everyone will be encouraged to bring their favorite book or magazine and also to dress up as their favorite character. Books and magazines will be provided, and contests for best costume and door prizes will be given away.

Fairview High School’s Family Game Night will be from 5:30-7 p.m. on Tuesday, April 19.

Elizabeth High School’s “Let’s Play” event will be from 1-3 p.m. on Wednesday, April 20, at Finke Park in Elizabeth. This is a community event featuring basketball, volleyball, jump rope, tug of war, baseball, swings, Frisbees, slides, and parachutes. Organizers will encourage “play time with your kids.”

AVOYELLES PARISH 
AgDay at the AgCenter will be Monday, April 18, at the Avoyelles LSU AgCenter in Mansura, where youths will participate in Stop-&-Drop Fitness Stations. The event is open to the public.

Riverside Elementary in Simmesport will celebrate Turnoff Week with writing and coloring contests, while Cottonport Elementary students will participate in a poster contest. Lafargue Elementary parents will visit the school during their child’s PE time to walk, do exercises, talk about nutrition and eat healthy snacks.

GRANT PARISH
The LSU AgCenter’s “Turn Off and Tune In to the Outdoors” event will be from 5-7 p.m. on Monday, April 18, at Grant Walker Educational Center in Pollock. Participants are invited to enjoy the great outdoors, ride bikes (provided), hike around the camp to the garden and enjoy a petting zoo.  A healthy snack will be provided. This event is open to the public.

Montgomery High School’s Family Night is 5:30 p.m. April 18. The event will include an area of Turnoff Week information and activities.

Colfax Elementary School’s Family Night will be from 5:30-6:30 p.m. April 19 and include games and activities for students and their families.

Dry Prong Junior High will have its DPJH Archery Competition for the school family on April 20. The event begins at 5:30 p.m.

Georgetown High School’s Family Sports Night will be at 4 p.m. on April 21. The event will feature stations of games and activities for students.

LASALLE PARISH
Jena Elementary School students will have the opportunity to play active games in the school gym and hear about ways to get active at home with their families as part of a Turnoff Week event April 20 sponsored by the school and the LaSalle 4H CloverBuds.

NATCHITOCHES PARISH
Cane River Green Market will conduct a Healthy Eating Presentation for children attending “Kids City” after school programming at Natchitoches Magnet School. The presentation will focus on healthy eating habits, the importance of fruits and vegetables and education about items found at the Cane River Green Market. The event is from 3-5 p.m. April 18.

Cane River Green Market will provide a healthy eating/nutrition program at a regular “tenant’ meeting of the Natchitoches Parish Housing Authority in Campti on April 18 from 5:30-6:30 p.m.

The Green Market has partnered with Miss Natchitoches Teen Courtney Rachal, a high school cheerleader and power-lifter, to speak to elementary students about the importance of eating healthy and becoming more physically active. Her April 18 presentation will include demonstrations on the amount of salt, sugar and fat in more popular foods. The presentation will also include a kids pledge for children to sign, indicating their commitment to being healthier.

Cloutierville School’s Turnoff Week events include a Healthy Habits Presentation on April 18, fitness camps during physical education classes and recess on April 19, Field Day with obstacle courses and contests on April 20 and lessons on healthy eating habits on April 22.

Weaver Elementary School in Natchitoches will hold a Kickball Tournament and Carnival at 5:30 p.m. April 19. Parents, students and community members are invited to participate in fun activities and games, instead of participating in screen-time activities.

Provencal Junior High School parents will be invited to take walks with their children during the school day on April 20.

Fairview Alpha Elementary students will sign a contract pledging to avoid TVs and other screens for Turnoff Week. On Wednesday, April 20, students and their parents will walk during physical education classes at the school’s Walk Day event.

In conjunction with the LSU Ag Center, Cane River Green Market will present a “Smart Portions” healthy eating presentation to the employees of People’s State Bank on April 20 from 12:30-1:30 p.m.

Green Market will take part in the Student Health Fair for students at Northwestern State University on April 20 from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m.  Activities will include games on nutrition and free samples of fruits and vegetables.

The Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Office and local partners will present a Kids health Fest for all 6th graders in Natchitoches Parish from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m. on April 21 at NSU. Activities include a Fun run for students, booths from health-related vendors and presentations/demonstrations.

The Natchitoches Recreation and Parks will sponsor a “Play Day” for the entire community at City Park featuring games and activities designed to keep children and families physically active. The event is from 5-7 p.m. April 21 at City Park in Natchitoches. The public is invited.

 L.P. Vaughn Elementary/Middle School’s Get Physical with Fun & Games event will be from 5-7 p.m. on Thursday, April 21. The school planned an evening of fun, games and prizes for students and their families.

RAPIDES PARISH
The Rapides Parish 4-H Youth Development Program will hold “Plant the seeds of Health and Fitness” from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. April 16 at the Alexandria Zoo, during its annual “Party for the Planet” event. Rapides Parish 4-H’ers will man an education station that features hands-on planting activities. Visitors can also make bookmarks, magnets, and other items promoting healthy lifestyles.

At Poland Junior High School, students will keep a personal log of their non-screentime activities throughout the week. As a reward, students will attend an after-school field trip on April 21 where they will play tennis, Frisbee and bowling.

The Central Louisiana Breastfeeding Coalition is holding an “Extreme Makeover: Lunch Box Edition” from 10 a.m. until noon at Rapides Regional Medical Center and from 2-4 p.m. at the Easter Seals of Central Louisiana on Monday, April 18. A display will feature adults’ and children’s unhealthy and healthy lunch boxes with nutritional information about each.

Acadian New Vision Academy will hold its “Turn Off to Turn On” Turnoff Week Poster Contest on April 13 and 14. Students also will keep logs of their healthy activities throughout the week.

Hayden R. Lawrence Upper Elementary is holding a Family Walk Night at the school track on April 19 from 4:30-6:30 p.m. The public is challenged to walk for 30 minutes or more with your family.

Pineville Elementary School students will be given a refrigerator bingo game that they can play at home with their families. The “Fruit and Vegetable Refrigerator Bingo Family” game allows players to fill out their bingo card by eating fruits and vegetables. The school also is holding its annual “Raindrop Romp,” where students and their families will meet at the school after hours on April 14 to run, walk, jog and exercise to music.

Glenmora Elementary School will hold “Skate/Scoot/Shoot Days” activities throughout the week from 3:30-4:30 p.m. On April 18 the activity will be a free skate day. On April 19, the event will be dedicated to scooter skills. On April 20, the focus will be on basketball skills.

Cherokee Elementary School students will “walk around the block” on Monday, April 18. Students, parents and teachers will be invited to participate in the school’s annual event by walking around the block two times. 

Turnoff Week Family Walk Night for Carter C. Raymond student, their families and local residents will be from 4:30-6:30 p.m. April 19 at Lecompte City Park.

Plainview High School’s “Principal’s Walk” is from 10:30-11 a.m. on Thursday, April 21. Students will go for a walk with the principal and assistant principal around the school.

North Bayou Elementary parents and students will pick five activities from a list of 101 to be performed after school during Turnoff Week. The school will display pictures of the activities on April 25.

VERNON PARISH
The LSU AgCenter’s Eat Healthy Night event will be from 7-8:30 p.m. Monday, April 18, at the Old Leesville Courthouse, 201 S. Third St., Leesville. The event will feature a fitness speaker from Fort Polk and a healthy meal encouraging healthy eating. The public is invited.

Leesville Main Street District will host a community walk through historic downtown Leesville at 6 p.m. on April 21. The walk will begin at the Museum of West Louisiana. The public is invited.

WINN PARISH
Calvin High School will hold “Egg-citing Fun & Games” from 8 a.m. until noon on April 20. Parents and students are invited to participate in an Egg Relay, Egg Roll and Bunny Hop.
Atlanta High School will hold “Egg-citing Fun & Games” from 8-9:30 a.m. on April 21. Parents and students will participate in an Egg Relay, Egg Roll and Bunny Hop
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