Summer program helping teach girls healthy habits

POSTED: Friday, July 13, 2012 - 2:32pm
UPDATED: Monday, July 16, 2012 - 3:43pm

WACO -- It's no secret middle school is a confusing time.

It's an age for change and a transition period into gaining some responsibility..

"We really want them to take ownership of their health," Margo Shanks, health educator for the McLennan County Public Health District said.

But for a community that is 64-percent overweight or obese and has 20-percent of households with diabetic family members, learning how to make healthy choices comes with some surprises.

 "A lot of it was a big surprise to me," 11 year old Jillian Dolezal said. 

Funded by the Texas Department of State Health Services diabetes program, this day camp called "Bounce" has three main focuses.

"One is physical activity and we try to expose them to new different ways to exercise. Then the second part of that is nutrition education and then we have a third aspect that is body image, so it's self esteem," Shanks said.

From cooking classes, to hiking and kickboxing, these pre-teens are learning healthy habits for themselves that they can take home as well.

"We are filtering into the families, we are filtering in to adults," Shanks said.

The program is free and open to all McLennan County middle school girls.

Bounce has only 16 campers right now so the program has room for more and registration is still open.

"I hope a lot of more girls come next year because it's really fun. Some kids just stay home and watch TV so I'm glad I'm not at home bored," 13 year old Angelisa Fhardo said.

For more information visit the McLennan County Public Health District website, at:




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