Sneakers squeaked across the gym floor and smoke rose from a grill that cooked up veggie kabobs for a special day of health and wellness at Piedmont IB Middle School. The event, which took place on May 30, was designed to create fun avenues to generate dialogue among students regarding serious teen issues, including obesity and bullying.
Students had multiple opportunities to engage their minds and bodies in healthy-living activities, including access to agencies, organizations and companies that provided tools and information to help them understand healthy-living options. The students moved in a Carolina Panthers rally and struck poses in a flash mob dance with Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx. The day was balanced with important information sessions, including the federal perspective of bullying and harassment, presented by U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina Anne Tompkins; a special discussion with Mike Buchanan and Diane Lang, authors of The Fat Boy Chronicles; and a conversation with Chris Rivera, who plays the lead role of Jimmy in The Fat Boy Chronicles movie, about his personal struggles with obesity and bullying.
Sixth grader Mary Morrisette had a great time and is taking away a significant lesson that came from experience, rather than her text books.
“We’re learned that it’s better to be healthy than overweight or unhealthily thin. Being healthy can be fun—like the dances we learned from the YMCA.”
Piedmont Principal Dee Gardner was impressed by the number and type of programs her students experienced. From planned activity breaks to cooking demonstrations and stress workshops, students received a comprehensive lesson in physical activity and wellness.
“This was so meaningful on so many different levels. Every child was touched by something different. We couldn’t be more grateful to the community for making this happen—it all made a difference in the lives of these kids.”