written by Greg Adomaitis
ALLOWAY TWP. — Some of the signs are obvious, but a solution was employed here Sunday by the Cohansey Christian School.
In conjunction with the nationwide Let’s Move! program, the Seventh-day Adventist Church and about 50 other faith- and community-based organizations joined on Sept. 25 to fight for healthy lifestyles.
“All of North America’s Adventist Churches set today as the day everybody moves,” said Cohansey Christian School Principal Cathy Tomlinson.
Their goal: To log 1 million miles on Let’s Move Day.
Tomlinson’s student body of sixth- through eighth-graders exercised from noon to 4 p.m. on Sunday while others stopped by to participate, as well.
Tomlinson showed off a card punctured numerous times by a hole puncher. Each mark signified three miles and participants trekked around the school property repeatedly to assist in the 1 million milestone.
First Lady Michelle Obama launched the national Let’s Move! program last year to combat childhood obesity.
Nearly one in three American children are overweight or obese, a problem with a solution sought within one generation. What’s more, that condition increases their chances of asthma, diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure. Typically blamed are larger portion sizes, processed or refined foods and low-income families with poor access to fresh foods.
The North American Seventh-day Adventist Church division is focusing on increased fruit and vegetable servings by launching 100 gardens or farmers markets.
“This initiative is consistent with our church’s approach to ministering to people physically, mentally, socially and spiritually,” faith world church President Ted Wilson stated.
The gang at Cohansey Christian School had paused for lunch around 2 p.m. that, in the name of combating childhood obesity, consisted of salad, popcorn, whole wheat pasta, vegetarian hot dogs, oranges and apples.
Tomlinson noted she often prepares vegetarian dishes for her students. They had also acquired pedometers, in use Sunday, from Bridgeton’s own Let’s Move! campaign.
Three Seventh-day Adventist church members in Bridgeton, who were at the school Sunday, took a 5-mile walk with their congregation through the city park
Members Vandella Bates, Caroline Smith and Joyce Brewer started that exercise at 9 a.m. and were still going strong after lunch when everyone broke for volleyball.
Though Sunday’s program was just for that day, Tomlinson said her students’ physical activity will be tracked for the next three months.
“They will have the pedometers on even when they’re at school,” said Tomlinson.