By Tia Lynn Lecorchick managing editor
The Morgan County Board of Health is collaborating with the Morgan County Elementary School (MCES) to implement a statewide health initiative pushed by Governor Nathan Deal for all Georgia elementary schools to adopt Deal’s program, the Georgia SHAPE Power Up for 30, encourages schools to adopt an additional 30 minutes of physical exercise for students during each school day. “It gets the blood flowing to the brain,” said Dr. Claude Burnett, director of the Northeast Georgia Health District. “Sitting all the time is not good for you. Kids especially need that activity to keep alert. It could help them become healthier and help them do better in school.” “The Governor is making this a huge priority by promoting weight loss and staying active to combat obesity,” said Burnett. Deal is hoping the program will help combat the rising rates of obesity in children by exposing kids to healthy eating habits, regular exercise, and encouraging an overall active lifestyle. According to Georgia SHAPE, Research shows a strong positive relationship between physical fitness and academic achievement. Daily exercise challenges the brain so it can grow. Incorporating just 30 minutes (or more!) of physical activity into the daily school routine without altering the academic schedule can make children more alert and ready to learn.” According to Georgia SHAPE, all pledged districts and elementary schools will be provided with innovative ideas, an expanded resource guide, and a welcome survey this September.