Alyssa Morin

Redondo’s Tulita Elementary scores high in fitness

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The Tulita Walking School Bus encourages youngsters to walk to school and boosts socialization.

The Tulita Walking School Bus encourages youngsters to walk to school and boosts socialization.

Tulita Elementary in Redondo Beach has been recognized for its programs to engage students in health and fitness by the Fire Up Your Feet program’s 2013 Activity Challenge. Tulita’s Walking School Bus program, Running Club and Student Wellness Council helped earn the school recognition in the national contest.

Thousands of students, families and staff at more than 400 schools around the country participated in the Fall 2013 Fire Up Your Feet Activity Challenge, sponsored by Kaiser Permanente, earning more than $35,000 in awards. In California, 23 schools won challenge awards ranging from $100 to a top prize of $5,700.

“Rates of childhood obesity have more than doubled in the last thirty years,” said Dr. Barbara Carnes, pediatrician and area medical director for Kaiser Permanente’s South Bay Medical Center. “…meaning that our kids are more likely to suffer from diabetes, hypertension and other chronic disease.  Schools, parents and health care providers have to work together to help children get the 60 minutes of daily physical activity that their young bodies need.”

Tulita Elementary’s Walking School Bus program organizes parent volunteers to walk students to school twice a week.  Currently, 50 students participate in the program, gaining valuable social time as well as physical fitness. The Running Club at the elementary school meets three days per week and involves over 100 students. Tulita also runs a Student Wellness Council for fourth and fifth grade students who want to help make their school a healthier place to learn.

“We recently submitted our application to receive the 2014 Bronze National Recognition Award through the Alliance for a Healthier Generation,” said Christina Giguiere, Principal of Tulita Elementary.  “We take action and make changes to our policies and programs to improve students’ physical, mental, social and emotional well-being at Tulita.”

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