October 01, 2009 –
Mayetta, KS.-September 30- Teaching healthy lifestyles and having fun at the same time will be the focus of a Field Day of Fun for Native youth this coming Saturday in PrairiePeoples Park on the Prairie Band Potawatomi Common Land.
The event will mark the kick off of a Youth Initiative Health program that has been designed to help young people fight obesity through exercise and healthy eating. According to a recent Indian Health Clinic study, 49 percent of Native American children (ages 6-11) have been categorized as overweight or obese showing a need to teach healthier lifestyles to young Native people.
Highlights of the day will include visits by Barbara Jones Slater, a former Gold Medal Olympian in Track and Field (1952 and 1960), and Jerry Tuckwin (Prairie Band Potawatomi), a recent inductee into the American Indian Sports Hall of Fame. In addition, a series of activities for Native children in grades K-12 are planned including sports physical screenings, participating in individual sport competitions like basketball and soccer, eating a nutritious lunch, and receiving free gifts and prizes.
The Youth Initiative Program is a collaborative effort between the four tribes in Kansas and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment Center for Health Disparities and Department of Health and Human Services/Office of Public Health and Science, Region VII. Other community and school groups from the northeast Kansas region are also involved in the project.
The Potawatomi Health Center, Education Department, and Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation are primary sponsors of the event.