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Leon County "WAY" Program

The Center for Disease Control estimates 15 percent of kids are overweight. Leon County schools are looking to combat this problem by mixing a little sweat into the school day.

Betsy Sullivan may sound like an aerobics instructor, but she's actually a fifth grade teacher. Each day, her Buck Lake students stretch and squat in hopes of shaping up their bodies as well as their mind. The whole workout is part of the wellness academics and you program...better known as way.

Leon County is one of three school districts in Florida chosen to pilot the program that tones all areas.

Sullivan says, "Use as part of our curriculum involves reading, science and math. We study all aspects of health, look at whole child."

At first, the kids weren't keen on the idea of classroom conditioning, but quickly adapted to the routine, and even carried the healthy habit home.

Nick Armstrong, a 5th grader at Buck Lake Elementary, says, "Before at home, we had all these fatty foods; now we have baked chips instead of fried."

Matt Fox, a 5th grader at Buck Lake Elementary, says, "Helped me a lot because started eating bananas at home."

During the day, the kids keep wellness journals, setting goals and keeping track of their physical and academic activity, in hopes these Buck Lake Bobcats will turn the tide on the obesity epidemic sweeping the country.

"The WAY" program is taking place in 36 classrooms in four states.


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