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Ninth-graders experience Well-Being Way through Talawanda-Miami partnership

Ninth-graders at Talawanda High School will be participating in an innovative well-being program thanks to a two-year $125,000 grant awarded to Miami’s partnership office by Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation.

The program encourages students and their families to adopt and sustain healthy, active lifestyles through activities that help them discover their uniqueness in the world.

“We know that adolescence is a time of life when dramatic changes in health behaviors occur,” said Jay Kimiecik, associate director of the partnership office and developer of the Well-Being Way, a healthy living program that will be introduced at Talawanda in the spring of 2008. “This grant makes it possible to implement a unique well-being program at a critical time in kids’ lives.”

Well-Being Way features a self-discovery approach that helps young people see the connections between how they feel about themselves and the choices they make regarding healthy behaviors such as exercise and healthy eating, explained Kimiecik, the author of the YPersonal Fitness Program, an exercise behavior change program that has been used in more than 500 YMCAs.

“I believe the Well-Being Way program will be a fantastic opportunity for our students to explore how they want to feel and adopt healthy habits that will support them in meeting their goals,” said Amy Macechko, health and wellness coordinator. Macechko is a co-coordinator of the project along with Marianne Marconi, director of guidance at Talawanda, and Kimiecik.

Macechko adds, “We know that healthy learners are better learners. As a district and a community, we are seeking to minimize the barriers to learning by promoting the connection between health and academic achievement.”
Miami students enrolled in a department of kinesiology and health capstone course will be facilitators of the healthy living program. They will work with groups of Talawanda students once per week for 12 weeks. Opportunities also are available for parents and families to become involved in healthy living activities.

Date Published: 11/29/2007
Volume: 27   Number: 11

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