ST. ALBANS TOWN – Three years after its first class adopted the recommendations of an area health initiative, St. Albans Town Educational Center (SATEC) welcomed a delegation of international health workers Tuesday morning for a late-morning tour of its RiseVT-sponsored health programs.
Members of RiseVT, a grassroots health and wellness initiative originally based out of Northwestern Medical Center (NMC), led representatives from the French Ensemble Prévenons l’ObésitéDes Enfants (EPODE) and the Dutch Jongeren Op Gezond Gewicht (JOGG) between classrooms, where teachers and students demoed the short classroom dance breaks and yoga sessions that have become commonplace in the town school.
These short breaks, which give children with a chance at physical activity, are a part of wider movement to facilitate healthier lifestyles in SATEC and in Franklin County as a whole. RiseVT has led much of that movement.
According to RiseVT Wellness Specialist Jessica Frost, SATEC was one of the schools that have best taken to the initiative, with multiple classrooms taking on physical activities and wellness lessons as a way to teach younger students healthier lifestyle habits. It’s something she credits to the school’s administration, who have, according to Frost, been eager to adopt the program.
“I can’t take really take credit,” Frost, who helped introduce the program to SATEC, said. “I think [SATEC] really drives the ship here. I’ve helped them find instructors… but they really have a passion for it.”
Frost, who has worked with SATEC teachers to help develop classroom activities like yoga breaks, led the tour between classrooms, stopping every so often when a student appeared and recognized her as the “person who told them about eating too much sugar.”
Stops on the tour usually came with the normal fanfare of students recognizing Frost before teachers huddled the students together in an open area. In one class, a yoga teacher associated with RiseVT, Amy Ward, led students through a yoga lesson that played like a game of Simon Says. In another, RiseVT, EPODE and JOGG members joined students in a Justin Timberlake dance-a-long video.
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