Michigan Surgeon General Hosts Generation With Promise Youth Summit 2010

Contact: Pam Woodley (313) 456-2624
Agency: Community Health

March 23, 2010

DETROIT - Michigan Surgeon General Kimberlydawn Wisdom, M.D., M.S., is hosting the third annual "Generation With Promise (GWP) Youth Summit 2010" from 9 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 25, at the Matthaei Athletic Building at Wayne State University located at 5101 John C. Lodge at West Warren in Detroit, Michigan.

The GWP Youth Summit brings together more than 200 middle school students from 17 schools in Detroit, Highland Park, Hamtramck, Pontiac and Benton Harbor for a day of fun, teambuilding and learning.

The youth are members of their schools' Student Action Teams (SATs) who work throughout the school year to make changes in policy that will promote a healthier school environment for students and staff.

Assemblies have been held at each GWP participating school as the SATs gear up for the Youth Summit. Presentations have included demonstrations of physical activity, interactive quizzes on nutrition and skits on tobacco prevention. Students in attendance at the assemblies also have enjoyed a performance by the GWP dancers to ‘Do It Right,' a song written and recorded expressly for GWP by Detroit rapper Tone Tone.

The SAT productions have focused on the Michigan Steps Up! motto, "Move More, Eat Better, Don't Smoke." After each assembly, students in 6th, 7th and 8th grades signed a pledge promising to do one of the three areas. As a result, thousands of middle school students in several cities are going to spend 60 minutes a day on physical activity; have more fruits, vegetables and milk; and avoid smoking or being around smoke.

The Youth Summit will feature skits, music, food and entertainment that will make the day an enjoyable, inspiring learning experience. An award will be presented to the top two Student Action Teams representing schools with the largest percentage of students to sign pledges. Pledge cards will be distributed to SAT members at Youth Summit 2010 to take back to their schools to help their fellow students continue to make healthy choices.

"The students have demonstrated a great deal of new knowledge on the importance of eating healthy and engaging in regular physical activity, and they've made it their own cause," said Dr. Wisdom. "Today and in the future, we want our young people to be empowered to make healthy choices for themselves that will reduce the incidence of childhood obesity. The students are using what they've learned about nutrition, physical activity and tobacco prevention to make policy changes in their school environments."

Schools participating in the Youth Summit include Burns Elementary/Middle School; Hutchins/McMichael Elementary/Middle School, J.F. Nichols Elementary School; Taft Middle School; Trix Elementary/Middle School; Greenfield Union Elementary/Middle School; Mark Twain School & Academy; Clark Elementary/Middle School; Hamilton Elementary/Middle School; Murphy Elementary/Middle School; Phoenix Multicultural Academy and Peter Vetal Elementary/Middle School-all in Detroit. Two GWP schools in Benton Harbor will be attending. They include Fair Plain Renaissance Middle School and Hull Middle School. Other GWP schools attending include Pontiac Middle School, Kosciuszko Middle School in Hamtramck, and Barber School of the Gifted and Talented in Highland Park.

GWP is a $5-million initiative funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and led by Dr. Wisdom and a multidisciplinary team organized through the Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH). The project links Governor Jennifer M. Granholm's Cities of Promise initiative in underserved communities with MDCH and the "Michigan Steps Up" healthy lifestyles initiative. The three-year project empowers Student Action Teams to drive change related to health priorities for their schools.

In addition to the Cities of Promise, other partners with MDCH for "Generation With Promise" are the Governor's Council on Physical Fitness, Health & Sports/Michigan Fitness Foundation, Michigan Department of Education, Michigan Action for Healthy Kids Coalition, Cities of Promise, local health departments, Healthy Kids Healthy Michigan Coalition, Henry Ford Health System, the Michigan State University Extension, University of Michigan and Wayne State University.