Michigan Surgeon General Hosts Nutrition Field and Fitness Day on Detroit's Belle Isle

Contact: Pam Woodley (313) 456-2524

June 10, 2010

More than 100 families converged on Detroit's Belle Isle Casino today for Nutrition Field and Fitness Day. The event, hosted by Michigan Surgeon General Dr. Kimberlydawn Wisdom, was a year-end celebration of the Generation With Promise Family Enhancement Project (GWP-FEP).

The families were joined by dozens of middle school youth from Detroit-area schools who are part of the GWP Student Action Teams (SATs). They took part in nutrition education games and lots of physical activity for a day that was focused on healthy living.

The families completed a five-week nutrition education course called "Side by Side" at participating GWP schools in Detroit, Hamtramck, Pontiac and Highland Park. The class is taught by professional chefs and nutrition educators from Gleaners Community Food Bank of Southeastern Michigan and Michigan State University Extension. The curriculum, offered by Share Our Strength's Operation Frontline, includes information on meal preparation on a budget, hands-on cooking demonstrations, how to read food labels and a grocery store tour. Families receive a bag of groceries after each class so they can duplicate the recipe at home.

"The healthy alternatives these families learn are very important, but more importantly they are sitting down at the dinner table for quality family meal time," said Dr. Wisdom. "The Nutrition Field and Fitness Day culminates a year's worth of classes in cooking and planning meals "Side by Side" for 15 of our GWP schools. We want to celebrate their accomplishment with a day of fun for all the students and parents or caregivers, who have learned a new way of eating and getting physical activity into their lives," added Dr. Wisdom.

Other highlights of the event included free health screenings, fun prizes and giveaways, free children's books and a special launch of the GWP song "Do It Rite" by Detroit Rapper Tone Tone. Parents and students also enjoyed a healthy taste testing and a visit by WJLB's FM 98's Coco.

The classes are an additional component of the GWP project, which is funded by a $5 million dollar grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation through the Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH) and led by Dr. Wisdom. GWP currently operates in 28 middle schools in Michigan. The GWP project links these schools with Governor Jennifer Granholm's Cities of Promise initiative in underserved communities, in addition to MDCH and the "Michigan Steps Up" healthy lifestyles initiative.

The participating GWP schools included 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; Fair Plain Renaissance Middle School and Hull Middle School in Benton Harbor; Pontiac Middle School in Pontiac; Kosciuszko Middle School in Hamtramck; and Barber School of the Gifted and Talented in Highland Park.

This project has been partially funded with Federal funds from USDA's Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program - Nutrition Education program by way of the Michigan Nutrition Network in partnership with the Michigan Department of Community Health, Office of the Surgeon General. This material is based upon work supported in part by the Michigan Department of Human Services, under contract number ADMIN-10-99010. USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer. The Michigan Food Assistance Program provides nutrition assistance to people with low income. To find out more, call 1-800-481-4989.

This project is funded in part by a grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation of Battle Creek, Michigan to the Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH), under the direction of Dr. Kimberlydawn Wisdom, Michigan's Surgeon General. For more information about the Generation With Promise (GWP) Project, contact the GWP Project Office at phone: 313-456-4382 or e-mail: generationwithpromise@michigan.gov .

About the W.K. Kellogg Foundation

The W.K. Kellogg Foundation was established in 1930 "to help people help themselves through the practical application of knowledge and resources to improve their quality of life and that of future generations." The Foundation targets its grants toward specific areas, including health, food systems and rural development, youth and education, and philanthropy and volunteerism. Grants are concentrated in the United States, Latin America and the Caribbean, and the southern African countries of Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa, Swaziland, and Zimbabwe. For further information, please visit the Foundation's Web site at www.wkkf.org.