Walk for Power-U Healthy Program

Communications Director

Eric Vreeland
evreeland@knoxvilletn.gov
(865) 215-3480

400 Main St., Room 654A
Knoxville, TN 37902

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Walk for Power-U Healthy Program

Posted: 04/18/2007
Mayor Bill Haslam will take part in a celebration walk Thursday, at 3:45 p.m. in Victor Ashe Park with children who recently completed the city's new Power-U Healthy program.Several dozen of the participants, aged 6 to 12, are expected to take part in the walk Thursday.

The program - developed jointly by the City of Knoxville, the University of Tennessee's Agriculture Extension Service and the Knox County Health Department - is aimed at reducing childhood obesity by encouraging children to eat healthy and exercise.Instructors with the UT Extension Service trained the city's recreation center directors to teach the 10-week-long program.About 200 children in after school programs at the city's New Hope, Milton Roberts, West Haven, Inskip-Norwood, Christenberry, Lonsdale and Cumberland Estates Recreation centers took part in the Power-U Healthy effort.In the voluntary program they ate a variety of fruits and vegetables, learned fun new ways to exercise and went on a hike from Island Home Park to Ijam's Nature Center along the Will Skelton Greenway."One of the keys to facing the issue of childhood obesity is to show kids how important exercise is while also showing them how much fun it can be," Haslam said. "We think Power-U Healthy has done that and we're very pleased with the results from the initial offering of the program." To encourage walking, BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee donated 200 pedometers for the participants to use and they, in turn, recorded the number of steps they took each day as part of a competition. One child turned in over 10,000 steps one day.

The Knoxville Utilities Board also donated 500 bottles of water for the activity.The city's Parks and Recreation Department plans to offer the program again, this time in an expanded number of recreation centers, beginning next August.