CLEVELAND, GA -- (AP) May 10, 2011
A public-private partnership to encourage fitness and healthy habits for Georgia's children is growing.
Gov. Nathan Deal visited White County Intermediate School in Cleveland on Monday to tout the program, called SHAPE. The program is expected to expand statewide after being piloted in White, Hall, Gwinnett, Bibb and Lowndes counties this school year.
SHAPE generates data on students' strength, flexibility and endurance during physical education classes. Schools and families then use the data to help students get in better shape and mark their improvement.
Deal said childhood obesity costs Georgia $2.4 billion annually, a number that is growing.
Private partners in the program include: the Arthur Blank Foundation, Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, the Atlanta Falcons and the Atlanta Braves.
State lawmakers passed legislation in 2009 creating the partnership.