St. Louis event is the latest in a nationwide series of "learning connection" Town Halls.
Today, on the campus of Washington University, GENYOUth Foundation, along with its collaborating partners, is holding the latest in its nationwide series of Town Hall meetings to address child health in the school environment and the community. The Town Halls aim to accomplish three things: raise awareness of the connection among good nutrition, physical activity, and academic performance; reinforce schools as a focal point for action; and stimulate support to improve nutrition and physical activity in schools.
This latest Town Hall event, titled "Changing Courses: Community Leadership to Advance School Wellness," is being made possible through the generous sponsorship support of the Jamba Juice Company. Event co-hosts and collaborators include Midwest Dairy Council, the St. Louis Rams, The Magic House, and St. Louis Children's Hospital.
Says Alexis Glick, GENYOUth Foundation CEO, "This Town Hall, like the ones already held in Chicago, Denver, San Francisco, Indianapolis, and New York, is about bringing together a diverse group of top minds, including local business, education, health, and government leaders, plus the critical perspective of students themselves, to facilitate dialogue in local communities about school wellness, and to focus on key solutions." James White, CEO of Jamba Juice, adds, "Quality nourishment of America's children is of paramount importance to us. We're proud to partner with GENYOUth Foundation as we did so successfully on the San Francisco Town Hall last fall to spotlight creative ways in which all community partners can work together to improve the wellness of St. Louis-area youth." The GENYOUTH St. Louis thought-leader event was developed in close cooperation with Washington University's leaders. "We are pleased to act as a venue for this important gathering," said Connie Diekman, M.Ed., RD, Director of University Nutrition. "I personally am supportive of any efforts that convene community leaders in the service of healthier, higher-achieving kids and schools as is the University as a whole. I am particularly pleased that a broad array of leaders in medicine, sports, and business are joining efforts to improve school wellness. We need everyone's help and support if we are to improve the health of our young people."
GENYOUth Foundation was established to inspire and educate youth to improve nutrition and increase physical activity in schools and their communities, through a public-private partnership with National Dairy Council and the National Football League. The Town Halls continue to inspire communities to help cultivate healthier and more productive youth as a local extension of GENYOUth's flagship program, Fuel Up to Play 60 (FUTP 60), created by NDC and the NFL, now in over 73,000 schools helping 14 million students eat better and move more.
FUTP 60's emphasis on improved nutrition, especially school breakfast, and increased physical activity can help improve academic achievement (i.e., the learning connection) "Together, we really can make a difference," said GENYOUth's Glick. "The ultimate goal is to generate actionable steps to get kids eating better and moving more at school, and, crucially, to forge public-private partnerships that garner commitments of assets to launch and fund these solutions. Schools cannot succeed alone. The broader community, including business leaders, health professionals, community organizers, parents, and students themselves must work together to effect change for children's health."
In addition to Jamba Juice, GENYOUth Town Halls have been supported by a list of blue-chip partners that includes the Anschutz Health and Wellness Center (Denver), Cardinal Health, the NCAA, the NFL, the NFL Players' Association, Quaker Oats Company, State and Regional Dairy Council organizations, UnitedHealthcare, the University of San Francisco, and others.