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Sebelius Sees Louisville Put Prevention to Work

Secretary Sebelius got moving with students at Wellington Elementary in Louisville, Kentucky last Friday, April 2, to see the school's health and fitness accelerated learning program in action.

fitness break

Starting this school year, Wellington Elementary adopted an innovative program that integrates fitness, health, and nutrition into the curriculum to help develop life-long healthy living habits.  Now, with a $7.9 million grant through HHS' Communities Putting Prevention to Work initiative, Louisville plans to expand efforts to make healthier food available in schools and support other nutrition and fitness programs that will benefit the entire community.

fitness lab

Secretary Sebelius, Congressman John Yarmuth (KY-03) and Louisville Metro Mayor Jerry Abramson toured the school's new fitness lab, took an exercise break with a 4th grade class, watched kindergarteners show how they get exercise while doing their ABCs, and saw the healthy changes to the cafeteria menu before sitting down for a roundtable discussion with student council members from the 3rd, 4th, and 5th grades on the role health and fitness has in their everyday lives.

"Having a healthier nation, having healthier kids, lowers healthcare costs and it's a win-win situation," Secretary Sebelius said.

healthy store

While in Louisville, Sebelius also stopped by the Healthy in a Hurry Corner store at the Dollar Plus to see the new approach towards eradicating food deserts in underserved neighborhoods. The initiative helps turn existing convenience stores into healthy food marts by subsidizing the costs of refrigerators, signage, marketing materials, and start-up inventory for the storeowners.

Louisville/Jefferson County Metro Government's $7.9 million grant was awarded through HHS' Communities Putting Prevention to Work initiative, funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.  The grant will fund 23 city-wide projects that will, among other things, make healthier foods available in schools, assist students to grow produce, build community infrastructure to encourage biking and walking, and make fresh produce more readily available by implementing more Healthy in a Hurry stores.

A total of 44 communities around the United States received Communities Putting Prevention to Work grants to support efforts to reduce obesity and smoking, increase physical activity, and improve nutrition.