NEW SMYRNA BEACH, Fla., June 5, 2018 On May 24, Florida Hospital New Smyrna celebrated the students and staff from Burns Science and Technology Charter School in Oak Hill for their participation in the Morning Mile, a fitness program that encourages students to run a mile before school three days a week.
In October, Florida Hospital New Smyrna launched the Morning Mile at the local elementary school to encourage students to start each day in an active way while enjoying fun, music and friends.
Burns Science and Technology Charter Schools Coach Chris Lickfield managed the program throughout the school year and had great participation from the students: more than 300 students participated, walking and running more than 2,300 miles in total.
During the celebration on May 24, Florida Hospital New Smyrna presented each grades top walker, the overall top walker, and the top volunteer student with trophies.
Sixth grader Trenten Allen was the overall top walker, reaching 80 miles during the school year. The top walkers per grade were: kindergartener Samantha Starkey, first grader Devan Rivas, second grader Kendall Ward, third grader Jason Hopkins, fourth grader Gabriella Roman Rivas, fifth grader Jayden Gonzalez, and sixth grader Kyden Pitcher. In addition, Madison Hardbarger was also recognized as the programs top volunteer.
On a national level, childhood obesity has reached epidemic proportions and we are proud to support this important endeavor. Within Florida, one in four children are overweight or obese. These children are at risk for developing serious health problems, such as diabetes, asthma, and even heart failure, said Ken Mattison, Florida Hospital New Smyrna CEO. The percentage of children with obesity in the U.S. has more than tripled since the 1970s and about one in five school-aged children has obesity. This can have both immediate and long-term impacts on a child's physical, social and emotional health. With the Morning Mile programs physical activity and nutritional education, we hope to reduce the risk for obesity and early-onset of diabetes in children in our local elementary schools.
In partnership with the American Diabetes Association, the Morning Mile program is designed to get kids active, fit and poised to carry good exercise habits into adulthood.
In 2017, Florida Hospital brought the program to at Burns Science and Technology Charter School in Oak Hill, Citrus Grove Elementary School in DeLand, Orange City Elementary School in Orange City, R. J. Longstreet Elementary School in Daytona Beach, and Rymfire Elementary School in Palm Coast.
The program uses a system of rewards to motivate students to begin each day with a morning run, jog or walk. Participating children enjoy the benefits of improved health and the opportunity to socialize with friends, all while developing habits of daily exercise.
About Morning Mile
Created by Fitzness International, the Morning Mile program provides participating schools or parks with a program guidebook and everything needed to bring the exercise program to their students. The program has been so successful with nearly 150 programs in Florida, Texas, California, Louisiana, Canada and on a US Air Force Base near Tokyo, Japan, that venues around the United States and beyond have applied to participate so they can implement the program as well. A grant from AvMed provided the funding for the Morning Mile starter kits, which give parks the instructions and materials to start the program. To learn more about launching or sponsoring the program, visit www.MorningMile.com.
About Florida Hospital New Smyrna
Florida Hospital New Smyrna is a member of Adventist Health System, a faith-based health care organization with 46 hospital campuses in nine states, serving more than 5 million patients annually. With a mission to extend the healing ministry of Christ, Florida Hospital New Smyrna has 112-beds and is one of the seven Florida Hospitals in Flagler, Lake and Volusia counties that composes the Florida Hospital Central Florida Division - North Region. As the largest hospital system in the area, the Florida Hospital Central Florida Division - North Region has 1,226 beds and more than 7,800 employees. For more information about Florida Hospital New Smyrna, visit www.FHNewSmyrna.org.