West Covina Unified schools are off to a healthy start

West Covina Unified School District
Anahi Velasco, Communications Specialist
(626) 939-4600 X 4635 | anahi.velasco@wcusd.org

West Covina Unified schools are off to a healthy start

West Covina, Calif., September 13, 2018 - The West Covina Unified School District partnered with the Rotary Club of West Covina to promote health and wellness to the community at the Heart of the Valley Health Fair & 5K Run/Walk that was held on September 22, 2018.

The 5K Run/Walk began at 8:00 a.m. on the south side of JC Penney at Plaza West Covina while the health fair began at 10:00 a.m. inside the mall at Center Court near Best Buy.

“It’s a great community event for our students, staff and families to be a part of,” said Rich Nambu, principal at Walnut Grove and school coordinator for the event. “We are already promoting health and wellness at our schools, so this will be an incredible opportunity outside of school campuses to learn about the importance of health education, wellness, and fitness.”

The health fair included free screenings for diabetes, blood pressure, vision, dental and mental health. Community partners were able to share resources and information for families to learn about preventative measures and strategies to enhance health and well-being. Attendees also enjoyed entertainment from West Covina schools’ band, choir and cheer teams.

“We fully support the participation in this event as part of our efforts to promote health and wellness,” said Charles Hinman, superintendent. “Everyone has an opportunity to participate in the event, whether you walk or run, and I encourage you to take advantage of the free health information and resources at the fair.”

The West Covina Unified School District and Rotary Club of West Covina aimed to reach their goals of promoting health and wellness by starting the school year off with the 5K walk/run event partnership.

“The Rotary Club of West Covina has a long history of supporting youth programs in our community and promoting health and wellness at school campuses is an important part,” said Vicky Abbott, president of the Rotary Club of West Covina.

The Rotary has offered schools an opportunity to earn two $500 grants if they registered the most runners. One grant will be available for schools serving kindergarteners through seventh grade and another grant for schools serving grades eight through twelve. Students, families, staff and teachers were able to compete and be counted in the total.

“We are pleased to extend an opportunity for the schools to earn some funds through a friendly competition,” said Abott. “They are huge contributors to the success of our walk/run by helping us register community members and families. We hope the funds earned through the competition can help them further enhance their programs.”

All elementary schools at the West Covina Unified School District participated in the 100 Mile Club, an effort to address the epidemic of childhood inactivity and obesity. Depending on the school site, students could accumulate miles during physical education classes, lunch, recess, before or after school hours. All students who participated in the upcoming 5K walk/run were able to count their miles toward their 100 Mile Club goals.

West Covina Unified School District schools also had salad bars, distributed health information and conducted assemblies to encourage healthy eating habits.

“We encourage all families to participate in our meal programs, visit our website for helpful tips and health information, and take advantage of the community resources offered such as this one,” said Corina Ulloa, director of nutrition services. “We want students to develop positive health and wellness habits, and the perfect way to do that is by participating in events outside of school to supplement their learning.”

Another health initiative is student involvement in the Garden Gourmets program at Hurst Ranch, a partnership with Kaiser Permanente Baldwin Park Medical Center. The program allows fourth grade students to cultivate their own fruits and vegetables on a monthly basis throughout the school year. They gain hands-on experience on how to prepare healthy recipes. At the end of the year celebration, students conduct short presentations to share their favorite recipes and experiences in the program.

For more information about the Heart of the Valley Fair and 5K Run/Walk, please visit: www.westcovinarotary.com/heart-of-the-valley-5k/