October 17th, 2012
From Alexis LaScala, Johnson & Johnson Corporate External Relations Team
Recently, I attended a unique event to celebrate and recognize educators from four U.S. cities for their successful implementation of the Johnson & Johnson Gateway to a Healthy Community ™ – Healthier Kids (GHC-HK) program, an innovative effort to help combat childhood obesity. GHC-HK is a core curriculum-based program that emphasizes increasing physical activity in schools in Atlanta, Houston, Newark and Philadelphia. A key component is a proven program called Activity Works (AW) that delivers 12-minute video/audio exercise bursts in classrooms that helps to maximize academic performance and meet state mandates for physical education. Through this program, in just 85 days during the 2011-2012 school year, nearly 28,000 elementary school students in grades K-3 in over 1,100 classrooms in four cities burned more than 61 million calories!
While Johnson & Johnson and the GHC-HK program deserve kudos for leadership and innovation in helping to combat childhood obesity, the stars of the event were the students and the school districts and stakeholders who brought the program to the schools in those four cities.
A highlight of the event I attended at Newark’s Park Elementary School was a live demonstration of more than 100 students who jumped, pushed, pulled, reached and galloped through an AW adventure called Wonders of the World.