Category Archives: Stories about community programs

Accounts of effective community grassroots programs – or lack of such programs.

Thousands of W.Va. kids are headed for diabetes

Jenni, a rural obese teen with high blood pressure and cholesterol, gets a full medical screening at a university clinic, then goes back home to no services, no community physical acivity. As 18 percent of West Virginia kindergartners arrive at school obese, West Virginia children are sending up clear red flags of future diabetes and heart disease.

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Children at risk identified, but who follows up?

Since 1998, West Virginia University’s CARDIAC program  has identified thousands of West Virginia fifth-graders with very high blood pressure, risky cholesterol and obesity – early warning signs of diabetes, heart disease, and stroke – but no state agency has ever followed up on those children.

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“We can beat this” / Health experts say W.Va. can lower its high disease numbers

West Virginia occupies a top slot on almost every awful health ranking: diabetes, heart disease, stroke, kidney disease and others. If the state’s top leaders will put health care on the front burner, that can change, an array of state leaders say.

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“Get kids moving however we can”

To battle obesity and improve students’ ability to concentrate, West Virginia Schools Superintendent Jorea Marple is campaigning for more minutes of physical activity in every child’s day.

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Rocking the gym at 7:30 AM. Wood school gets kids fit before they sit.

Before students at a Wood County West Virginia elementary school ever hit the books, they hit the gym for a half hour of physical activity, waking them up and getting them ready to learn.

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Nebraska school district slims kids by 13 percent / Can West Virginia schools do it too?

Starting in 2005, within five years a Nebraska school chopped the obesity rate of its grade school students by a stunning 13 percent. How did they do it?

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“They’re focusing better in class” / Mingo County stages breakfast revolution in schools

Mingo County schools have doubled the number of students eating breakfast and lunch. “We’re cooking for a lot more kids this year,” said veteran head cook Lena Lackey. They’re also making food from scratch, five days a week. Yes, she said, it’s more work than heat-and-serve, “but it’s the only solid meals some of our kids get.”