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September, 2011  - LET'S MOVE DAY

Let’s Move Day Garners White House, Media Attention

Story by Kim Peckham and Visitor Staff
Published 9/27/2011

On Sunday Seventh-day Adventists from all around the North American Division (NAD) joined 50 other faith and community organizations in responding to First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! national health and fitness campaign. In the Columbia Union, Vibrant Life, the church’s health magazine, organized a fun run and walk on the grounds of the Review and Herald Publishing Association in Hagerstown, Md., to which Obama sent two representatives: Joanne Grossi, regional director of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and Judy Palfrey, MD, executive director of the first lady’s Let’s Move initiative. Both walked the three-mile course.
General Conference President Ted N.C. Wilson, Congressman Roscoe Bartlett (R-MD), two representatives from the Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships as well as scores of locals attended the race.
The Vibrant Life Fun Run was one of the featured events for Let’s Move Day, and Katia Reinert, director of NAD Health Ministries, organized the national event to dovetail into Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move initiative.
Let’s Move addresses the problem of childhood obesity, which has tripled in the last three decades. “We’re seeing hypertension in children for the first time in history,” Grossi shared with the Vibrant Life crowd.

Palfrey, a pediatrician, read a letter from Michelle Obama. “We need your ideas, your hands and your [hearts] to lead to a brighter, healthier, tomorrow,” the first lady wrote.
Addressing the crowd, 85-year-old Rep. Bartlett gave credit to his Adventist lifestyle for his extended career in congress. “I couldn’t imagine when I was a kid growing up during the depression that you would need to run to get exercise,” he told the crowd. “We had enough exercise to keep food on the table, didn’t we?”
With multiple Adventist entities organizing health-boosting activities around the nation on Sunday, the church received news coverage from newspapers and TV news stations. 

Battle Creek Academy gets moving on "Let's Move Day"
Battle Creek Enquirer
September 26
Written by: Justin A. Hinkley

Battle Creek Academy teacher Nicole Mattson speaks Sunday about the Seventh-day Adventist Church's Let's Move Day event. / Bob Youngs/For the Enquirer

Huffing and puffing, sneakers slapping the pavement, T.J. Andersen worked to get fit and make his mind more ready to lear. Andersen, a 14-year-old eighth-grader at Battle Creek Academy, was one of about two dozen people walking the one-mile loop around Leila Arboretum on Sunday for "Let's Move Day," an effort of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church's North America Division to encourage healthy lifestyles. Nicole Mattson, a spokeswoman for Sunday's event and a teacher at the Seventh-Day Adventist-affiliated private school, said the church planned the event in response to First Lady Michelle Obama's charge for Americans to battle childhood obesity. Churches and schools across the country were inviting students and church families to walk, run or bike and log their miles traveled toward a collective goal of one million miles.

In addition to the obvious physical benefits of the effort, Mattson said Battle Creek Academy believes physical health can lead to spiritual and mentalhealth that can make for better students and adults. And, logging in his miles on Sunday, Andersen said he agreed. "If you're not (healthy), it affects your attitude and your lifestyle," the boy said. "Being active refreshes your mind and makes you more ready to learn." Asked what kind of impact physical health had on academic success, Mattson said: "Huge." "How else can a teacher put that?" she said. "We know the kids that are not eating breakfast and we know the ones that had Froot Loops for breakfast ... If they're eating well, they're going to be rested and performing to their highest mental ability."

In addition to the million-mile effort, the church and its schools hoped to focus on healthy diets and community engagement, according to a news release from Battle Creek Academy. Mattson said, even without Michelle Obama, the efforts fit in with the Seventh-Day Adventists' charge.
"God created us and he wants our bodies to be a temple," she said. "We need to be able to carry out his work."


Runners, walkers get moving to promote childhood wellness

September 25
Written By Dave McMillion

A pack of runners starts the 5K run and walk Sunday morning at the Review & Herald Publishing Association in Hagerstown. The event was part of "Let's Move! Day," sponsored by the Seventh-day Adventist Church in North America. (By Joe Crocetta/Staff Photographer)

HAGERSTOWN—U.S. Rep Roscoe Bartlett, R-Md., tried to put things in perspective Sunday regarding the push for Americans to get more active.

“I couldn’t imagine when I was a kid growing up during the Depression that you would need to run to get exercise. We had enough exercise to keep food on the table, didn’t we?” Bartlett said.

The quote from Bartlett — emailed to The Herald-Mail Co. by a Review and Herald Publishing Association official — came as 132 people gathered Sunday for a 5K run and walk on the grounds of the publishing operation.

With nearly one in three children in America being overweight or obese, the Seventh-day Adventist Church in North America joined about 50 other faith and community organizations to launch Adventists InStep for Life.

As part of the focus on exercise, the Seventh-day Adventist Church in North America set aside Sunday as “Let’s Move! Day,” according to a news release from the church.

Events to celebrate the day were scheduled in states across the U.S. The local 5K run and walk got under way Sunday morning at the Review and Herald Publishing Association, which publishes Seventh-Day Adventist literature.

The overall male winner in the race was Dennis Coleman of Gaithersburg, Md., who finished the event in 20:27, according to Kim Peckham, event spokesman.

The overall female winner was Chelsea Githens-Brewer of Hagerstown, who finished the race in 24:45, Peckham said.

Let’s Move! Day also supported first lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” initiative, aimed at preventing childhood obesity and related complications like diabetes and hypertension, Peckham said.

Judy Palfrey, executive director of Obama’s program, was among the dignitaries in Hagerstown Sunday to help launch the run, Peckham said.

Runners paid a $25 entry fee, and those 16 and younger paid $15. The money helped support a charity to get books to children in developing countries, Peckham said.


Cohansey Christian School joins with Let's Move!
September 25

written by: Greg Adomaitis


ALLOWAY TWP. — Some of the signs are obvious, but a solution was employed here Sunday by the Cohansey Christian School.

In conjunction with the nationwide Let’s Move! program, the Seventh-day Adventist Church and about 50 other faith- and community-based organizations joined on Sept. 25 to fight for healthy lifestyles.

“All of North America’s Adventist Churches set today as the day everybody moves,” said Cohansey Christian School Principal Cathy Tomlinson.

Their goal: To log 1 million miles on Let’s Move Day.

Tomlinson’s student body of sixth- through eighth-graders exercised from noon to 4 p.m. on Sunday while others stopped by to participate, as well.

Tomlinson showed off a card punctured numerous times by a hole puncher. Each mark signified three miles and participants trekked around the school property repeatedly to assist in the 1 million milestone.

First Lady Michelle Obama launched the national Let’s Move! program last year to combat childhood obesity.

Nearly one in three American children are overweight or obese, a problem with a solution sought within one generation. What’s more, that condition increases their chances of asthma, diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure. Typically blamed are larger portion sizes, processed or refined foods and low-income families with poor access to fresh foods.

The North American Seventh-day Adventist Church division is focusing on increased fruit and vegetable servings by launching 100 gardens or farmers markets.

“This initiative is consistent with our church’s approach to ministering to people physically, mentally, socially and spiritually,” faith world church President Ted Wilson stated.

The gang at Cohansey Christian School had paused for lunch around 2 p.m. that, in the name of combating childhood obesity, consisted of salad, popcorn, whole wheat pasta, vegetarian hot dogs, oranges and apples.

Tomlinson noted she often prepares vegetarian dishes for her students. They had also acquired pedometers, in use Sunday, from Bridgeton’s own Let’s Move! campaign.

Three Seventh-day Adventist church members in Bridgeton, who were at the school Sunday, took a 5-mile walk with their congregation through the city park

Members Vandella Bates, Caroline Smith and Joyce Brewer started that exercise at 9 a.m. and were still going strong after lunch when everyone broke for volleyball.

Though Sunday’s program was just for that day, Tomlinson said her students’ physical activity will be tracked for the next three months.

“They will have the pedometers on even when they’re at school,” said Tomlinson.


Macon Residents Move To Fight Obesity

September 25
Written by: Candace Adorka

Georgia is one of the 12 fattest states in the country, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

Sunday, a small group gathered at Central City Park to do something about it. Members of the Seventh Day Adventist Church in Macon teamed up with Macon-Bibb County Parks and Recreation to put on a local Let's Move! event, part of First Lady Michelle Obama's campaign to curb childhood obesity.

"We ran 3.1 miles outside," said 11-year old Leloni Strayhorn. "It was a lot of fun but also it took a lot of work"

Strayhorn and the the group of roughly 20 people walked and ran the Ocmulgee Heritage Trail.

The Centers for Disease Control says if childhood obesity keeps increasing, a third of kids who are Strayhorn's age and younger, will get diabetes at some point in their life.

Erika Davis, one of the event organizers, said they put on the event to do their part to change that trend, by encouraging kids to move and eat healthy.

"Lets make it stop and stand and say our children and our generation can live a longer and more fulfilling life," she said.

Davis says she hopes the turn out at next year's Let's Move event will be better.

"Next year, we're hopefully gonna have it full blast on that one day so that everybody can participate."

Davis said the excersing and eating healthy doesn't have to end with the event. She said the Parks and Recreation Department offers a host of programs, including an on-going nutrition class she helps put on.


Adventists in North America make strides in curbing childhood obesity
Hundreds of Adventist churches and schools promote exercise, nutrition on Let's Move! Day

Seventh-day Adventists at hundreds of churches, schools and hospitals in North America made strides yesterday in raising awareness of childhood obesity.


Runners set off on the Vibrant Life Annual 5K Run on the grounds of the Review and Herald Publishing Association in Maryland. The run was among activities Adventists nationwide participated in yesterday to promote exercise and healthy living. [photos courtesy North American Division]

Church officials and members ran, walked and bicycled their way through Let's Move! Day on September 25. They played sports, planted community gardens, offered health screenings, cooked healthy food and logged steps toward a goal of one million collective miles of physical activity.

In Maryland, world church President Ted N. C. Wilson contributed to the goal by joining more than 130 other Adventists -- including multi-marathoner and world church Vice President Delbert Baker -- for a 5K on the grounds of the Review and Herald Publishing Association.

Sponsored by Vibrant Life, the race drew government officials to Hagerstown, including United States Representative Roscoe Bartlett and Joanne Grossi, regional director of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Grossi applauded Let's Move! Day activities to promote fitness and nutrition nationwide and called the Adventist Church "one of [the department's] best partners with our faith-based office."

The Adventist Church is among some 50 other faith and community organizations that pledged last year to support Let's Move!, a national initiative of U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama to fight the epidemic of childhood obesity.

Reports indicate the nearly one in three children in America are overweight or obese, increasing their chances of getting asthma, type 2 diabetes, heart disease and other health risks.

Judy Palfrey, executive director of Obama's initiative, was among government officials in Hagerstown Sunday to help launch the run. Reading a letter from the first lady, Palfrey extended Obama's gratitude for the church's efforts in promoting community health, specifically in reversing the trend of childhood inactivity and poor nutrition.


Volunteers plant a 200-plot community garden during Let's Move! Day on September 25. Making fresh fruits and vegetables more widely available is one of the church's goals as it aims to reduce childhood obesity in North America.

"I truly believe our strength as a country and our ability to responsibly shape our future depends on solving this challenge, and people like you are vital to our success," Obama said in the letter.

Church health officials are hoping the day of activity extends into a lifetime of healthy choices for church and community members and their families in North America.

"Promoting small, simple changes in physical activity and food choices in our daily and family lives can make all the difference in preventing childhood obesity," said Katia Reinert, Health Ministries director for the church in North America.

The national Let's Move! Day is part of Adventists InStep for Life, an initiative of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in North America to promote exercise and better nutrition.

Dan Jackson, president of the church in North America, added miles toward the goal yesterday when he took a break from a meeting with church officers in Canada for a walk. 

In Simi Valley, California, a partnership between the church's hospital, church and media center there is expected to help make fresh fruits and vegetables available to more children. Church and community volunteers gathered to plant a two-acre community garden on church grounds yesterday.

In a similar example of cooperation, an Adventist pastor in Virginia enlisted the support of local doctors' offices, hospitals, schools and community centers to promote awareness of childhood obesity.

"Many times as a church we are isolated, doing things only for our own members, whereas by making an effort to build relationships within the community, others will be more interested in getting to know us better and partnering with us in our sponsored events," Reinert said. 

"Health initiatives like Let's Move! Day are one of our strengths as a church, allowing us to share the good news of an abundant life in Christ," she said.


Volunteers to help out at Simi Valley community garden
Ventura County Star - vcstar.com 
By Karen Hibdon
September 22, 2011
Organizers of a Simi Valley community garden are inviting folks of all ages to get out, get down and get dirty Sunday for "Let's Move! Day."
Inspired by first lady Michelle Obama's efforts to decrease childhood obesity by getting Americans off the couch and active in their communities, the national event is part of InStep for Life, an initiative of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in North America.
Simi at the Garden broke ground in February on 2.3 undeveloped acres at the back of property owned by the Simi Seventh-day Adventist Church and School on Sinaloa Road. The ground has been leveled and the irrigation system installed, but there's still plenty to do before the nondenominational public garden opens.
Volunteers are needed beginning at 8 a.m. Sunday to paint murals, build owl boxes and raptor perches, plant native California plants provided by the Calleguas Municipal Water District, distribute wood chips and soil, and help construct model plots.
When it opens, the garden will feature about 200 plots for lease to individuals, families, service organizations and youth groups. Rent will be $75 to $100 a year, depending on water rates.
"No matter what your faith or financial ability, this is a loving community project that can involve everyone," said Beth Dooley, Simi at the Garden executive director.
" 'Let's Move! Day' is all about getting up, outside and moving" and at the same time making a difference in the community, she said.
Salina Perry proposed the garden to church and school officials. She attends the church and her oldest son attends the school.
"People often ask me, 'How is your little garden growing?' " Perry said. "I tell them, 'It's not little and it's not mine.' "
A lab technician at Simi Valley Hospital since 1997, Perry, president of the garden board, said the idea is rooted in her daily encounters with patients who could benefit greatly from a healthier lifestyle.
The same day Perry contacted city officials with the garden proposal, Dooley sent out feelers to the same, soliciting an independent-study grant-writing project she needed to complete to earn a bachelor of science degree at California Lutheran University. A civilian crime scene investigator with the Simi Valley Police Department, she wanted to do something to benefit the community.
The pair meshed and the project got a green light, receiving a city resolution on Valentine's Day. A board of directors was organized, and Simi at the Garden received its nonprofit status.
"They've been really ambitious," said Simi Mayor Bob Huber. The garden "has really solid leadership, and that's important. I'm enthused about what they're doing for our community."
The biggest hurdle is raising money for a wrought-iron fence that will stretch from Sinaloa Road to the garden, separating the garden and nearby school. The lowest bid for the fencing is $13,000, Perry said, about half of which has been raised.
Much of the garden's infrastructure is in place, thanks to donations and volunteer efforts. The garden plan was drafted by architect Darin Gaines, board chairman. Debra James designed an entryway that will lead into the garden. Cal State Rent-a-Fence has donated chain-link fencing around the garden for six months, and Caveman Construction and West Hills Landscaping leveled the ground and installed the irrigation, Perry said.
Founding board member Dave Watkins recently visited the garden and was amazed at the improvements.
"It's graded, water lines are in and there are raised water spigots. Once, it was nothing but a sea of weeds," he said. "We've all been out here with wheelbarrow and shovels — it's humbling to see."
But there's still much to do, including fundraising. Garden paths, Perry said, will be marked with signs bearing the names of major benefactors such as Thrivent Financial, which donated $5,000, and Simi Valley Hospital, which gave $1,000.
Then there's the ongoing need for tools, sheds, garden supplies and volunteers.
For "Let's Move! Day," the hospital is pledging support through its Scrubs program, said Michelle Foster, director of marketing and communication. The program reimburses employees who take time off work to volunteer in the community.
The garden will include several larger community plots — an education garden for school field trips, a flower garden with bounty to be shared with area hospital patients and shut-ins, a water conservation area and a communal herb garden.
In keeping with the healthy lifestyle theme, educational programs will be offered, including "yoga in the garden" and seasonal cooking classes.
"We're trying to involve everyone," Dooley said. "We want the next generation to understand that food does not come from a drive-thru window. It grows from the ground up and should be healthy."

June, 2011

  • During the NAD Education Advisory meeting held in May, Union education directors and superintendents enthusiastically embraced the Division-wide Adventists InStep for Life initiative in an effort to renew the commitment for a wholistic educational approach. The plan is to continue to engage schools, faculty and students in more physical activity programs and healthier choices and join hands in the prevention of childhood obesity. Let’s Move Day events will be planned to assist in the 1 million mile goal.  Many schools are already actively engaged in excellent programs motivating students to achieve the President’s Active Lifestyle and Physical Fitness Awards and be physically active at least one hour a day as part of their routine.

May, 2011   

  • Adventist health institutions have over the years demonstrated their commitment to mission and are eager to find new ways to collaborate with the churches in the North American Division. Recently, Adventist Health, Adventist HealthCare and Adventist Health Systems and Kettering Health Network have given support to the newly launched Adventists InStep for Life initiative by joining the North American Division in financially sponsoring oure efforts and providing resources for education on child obesity.

  • Let’s Move Faith and Communities Partners Calls are a great resource as you focus on childhood obesity prevention in your church.  Recent topics include information on starting a community garden, how to get involved with summer feeding sites, and the Presidential Active Lifestyle Awards.  To receive notification of upcoming calls, please email Deloris Bailey at Deloris.Bailey@nad.adventist.org or register in this website to receive news and information about the initiative.

April 1, 2011 

  • The NAD Health Ministries Committee met on April 1 in Silver Spring, Maryland.  This committee serves to give counsel and vote on the direction and strategic plans for Health Ministries in the NAD.  Formed by new members representing hospital systems, universities, ministers, HM Conference Directors, physicians, nurses, church administrators and lay leaders, the Committee was inspired by a spiritual message from Elder Mark Finley.  The highlight of the meeting was the launch of the Adventists InStep for Life initiative.  Co-sponsored by Adventist Community Services, Children’s Ministries, Education, Health Ministries, and Youth departments, this initiative aims to mobilize every member and institution to make an impact on childhood obesity.  Specific goals for 2011 include accumulating 1 million miles of physical activity, 60% of Adventist students achieving the NAD and President Active Lifestyle Awards, launching 100 summer feeding sites, and starting 100 vegetable gardens/farmers markets in schools and/or churches.  The Division has also set aside Sunday, September 25 as Let’s Move Day, during which as many people as possible will be involved in physical activity.  A toolkit and resources are available at www.AdventistsInStepForLife.org.

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