KDMC brings heart health to schools

Published 12:00 am Saturday, June 3, 2006

CHESAPEAKE — The gym was a little louder than usual Monday and Tuesday at Chesapeake Elementary School. It was not only children causing the ruckus, but adults who were doing the majority of jumping, laughing and screaming.

The Community Services Department of King’s Daughters Medical Center brought its Heart Adventure Challenge Course to the school as a way to promote healthy lifestyles.

The course included three stations — nutrition, brain and lung station — each focusing on a different part of the body and how they work together. Every grade got to participate in the program over the two-day period.

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Charlie Scott, who is affectionately know as Big Charlie by the kids, works in KDMC’s cardiac rehabilitation department. He said it’s important to teach children at a young age about the importance of eating healthy, staying away from smoking and exercising on a regular basis.

“This is where it all starts,” Scott said. “We get the kids to have a lot of fun, but we are also teaching them important of a healthy lifestyle.”

This is the first year for the course, said Rene’ Clay, KDMC nurse and health communications specialist. She said it was modeled after a similar one used by the Boyd County, Ky., health department. Volunteers from the hospital work with the kids at each school — they’ve been to five so far — and it has been a positive experience for everyone involved, Clay said.

In addition to the way the body works, Clay said she hopes to teach youngsters about good nutritional choices and portion control.

Third-grader Allison Moore said she learned a lot from the program and had a lot of fun, too.

“It was really cool. I learned a lot about the food groups and that the brain and the heart work together,” she said.

Her classmate, Sydnee Hall, said she learned about the dangers of alcohol and smoking.

“I learned a lot about the affects of that stuff (drugs and alcohol) and what it can do to your brain and drugs,” she said.