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AISD partners with local grassroots group to promote increased physical activity among students

At 11 a.m. on Thursday Oct. 11, students at Pecan Springs Early College Prep will get a crash course in healthy living from various health experts as part of the Healthy Places, Healthy People program—a community initiative that aims to make healthy food available in every neighborhood and encourages healthy habits in schools.

Students will be treated to a presentation from Austin Independent School District Medical Director Dr. Stephen Pont and Travis County Health and Human Services Deputy Director Shannon Jones who will share messages about the importance of practicing regular physical activity. They will also be joined by representatives from the Alliance for African American Health in Central Texas and the Latino Healthcare Forum, which are issuing a challenge for students to get more active. Presenters will form walking groups and discuss different activities students can do with their families to improve their health.

The event is part of a broader initiative by the Healthy Places, Healthy People organization to make East Austin communities healthier. The rates of type 2 diabetes, stroke, cancer and heart disease are disproportionally high among African Americans and Latinos and the Dove Springs community is reported to have high obesity rates among children. Last month, the organization issued a challenge to students to lower their soda consumption as part of an initiative to fight childhood obesity. The group received more than 4,000 responses. The group hopes the push to encourage more physical activity among students in those communities will be received with equal enthusiasm.

Students and families can learn more about the group’s efforts at www.HealthyPlacesHealthyPeople.org,