The excitement was high as nearly 600 kids crammed into the Brown Elementary School cafeteria. They gathered to learn about eating healthy, staying physically fit and the sad fact that most American kids aren't doing those things.
Dr. Bob Watson from the Western Bariatric Institute presented some ugly statistics during the assembly. Right now, in many states, the adult obesity rate is 25%. "Nobody is doing well with the obesity challenge but Nevada is certainly among the poorer rankings I'm afraid. So not compared to some of the east coast states but we've got a lot of work to do."
So a group of moms, including myself, at Brown wanted to get our kids moving. We created the Lace 'Em Up Running Club - a volunteer program where kids are encouraged and rewarded for walking or running laps around the school. Theresa Ibarra is the co-chair. "A group of moms and myself have been thinking about this for awhile now and just wanted to get the kids active and healthy just living a healthy lifestyle."
Several University of Nevada athletes even spoke to the kids about the benefits of staying active. Lindsay Baldwin is on the volleyball team. "At a young age really forced me to be active my whole life which has gotten me to a free education and playing sports in college."
After a quick warm up, they were off! Some kids ran, others walked, it didn't matter. They were being active and enjoying it. They are now a part of a school wide team where everyone is a winner simply by moving. Their miles will be tracked on punch cards. And by the end of this school year, many of these kids will be able to say they ran a marathon. And all of them will be able to say they are more active because of the Lace 'Em Up Running Club.