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Local Students Take on the WeCan! Fitness and Nutrition Challenges

South Lake Tahoe, CA - Last Friday, October 10, nearly 2,000 local elementary school children completed the WeCan! program.

For four weeks, the students participated in weekly challenges that focused on fitness and nutrition goals. Challenges included eating fruits and vegetables of a particular color, drinking more water, stretching, exercising and trying new healthy foods.

Students try pomegranates, part of the Week 4 Challenge to eat red fruits and vegetables and try a new food.

All students, pre-Kindergarten through fifth grade, from Bijou, Lake Tahoe Environmental Magnet, Sierra House and Tahoe Valley participated.

“Research shows that physical activity and healthy eating help children become both physically and mentally active,” says Rebecca Bryson, a member of the Lake Tahoe sustainability collaborative, who helped organize the program. “WeCan! has been a great opportunity to improve our local children’s education, health and wellbeing.”

Each elementary school’s physical education teacher – Seth Martin, Kristi Jouett, Grace Magnussen, and Rhonda Riggs – participated and helped orchestrate the program with their students. Shelley Gianatta, Director of Tahoe Unified School District Food Services, as well as the school’s food service staff, stepped in and served fruits and vegetables that matched the color of the week.

Ravinder Saini passes out pomegranate arils to students, including her daughter Arya, at the Lake Tahoe Environmental Magnet School.

During the last week, parent volunteers and Barton Health staff served samples of pomegranate arils that were provided by CalFresh, Raley’s, and Barton Health. For many students, it was their first time trying this fall fruit.

WeCan! is a creation of the Lake Tahoe sustainability collaborative and is sponsored by Barton Health.

Find more information about WeCan! and the weekly challenges, go to www.bartonhealth.org/wecan.