The Fund for Santa Barbara’s Youth Making Change program awarded a $1,280 grant to the Santa Barbara High School Ready2Move Club to support the club’s third annual “Week of Wellness” and inaugural Brain Breaks initiative.
The Week of Wellness will be held at the school during the week of April 8-12 and will be followed by the Brain Breaks Project.
Ready2Move is a youth health advocacy program created by the Sansum Diabetes Research Institute and implemented at SBHS, with major funding provided by the Birdwell Family Trust.
The Week of Wellness addresses positive body image, nutrition, beverage choices, physical fitness and diabetes awareness. Following this event, club members will launch the Brain Breaks project, which will provide all SBHS teachers with a booklet of 10 simple, engaging physical activity “breaks” designed for the classroom. The purpose of these booklets, designed by the Ready2Move Club, is to enable teachers to encourage exercise in their classrooms, especially when students have low energy, poor concentration and/or high stress.
Ready2Move was initiated with the overarching goal of reducing the prevalence of childhood obesity and Type 2 diabetes. This twin epidemic is due in large part to the pervasiveness of unhealthy, cheap food and physical inactivity.
According to a 2012 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report, childhood obesity has tripled in adolescents in the past 30 years. Another study in 2011 by the American Diabetes Association estimates that 25.8 million children and adults in the United States have diabetes and another 79 million have pre-diabetes.
The Ready2Move Club’s mission is to improve the health of its members, its campus and its community. The program is one of a suite of community outreach programs sponsored by Sansum Diabetes and is open to any SBHS student with a vested interest in health promotion.
The third annual Week of Wellness will include a Healthy Poster Contest, a cooking demo, Positive Post-Its, a Zumba® fitness class and a Community Wellness Fair. The club has received overwhelming support for the event over the past few years through donations from local businesses and health professionals. Event sponsors have included SBSD Nutrition Services, The Berry Man, Art Essentials, 24-Hour Fitness, Spectrum Athletic Club, Play It Again Sports, Silvergreens, Backyard Bowls, Trader Joe’s, CrushCakes Café and SBHS staff.
“The Week of Wellness improves each year and is able to reach more students in a positive way,” said Rose Linehan, Sansum Diabetes’ project coordinator for Ready2Move. “The Ready2Move team hopes that this year’s event and Brain Breaks will unite the campus through the message that practicing a healthy lifestyle is important at any age!”
— Sarah Ettman-Sterner is the director of communications for the Sansum Diabetes Research Institute.