Olympic Silver Medalist Hyleas Fountain Visits Jacksonville to Reward Winners of Duval County Contest

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Fountain will lead students in GoNoodle, an in-classroom physical activity resource designed to improve student health and student performance.

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St. Vincent’s is proud to provide our community with many health prevention and wellness programs

Northeast Florida students are getting a lot more active these days, thanks to a sponsorship of GoNoodle by St. Vincent’s HealthCare, Florida Blue and CSX. With childhood obesity still the leading health issue affecting kids, the fact that many kids fall well below the recommended 60 minutes of daily physical activity, and research proving the benefits physical activity on learning, Jacksonville area schools are using the interactive physical activity breaks of GoNoodle to get kids up and moving during the school day.

“St. Vincent’s is proud to provide our community with many health prevention and wellness programs. Along with Florida Blue and CSX, St. Vincent's has been working with Duval County Public Schools since 2009, providing health curriculum and physical activity resources designed to help kids live healthier lives," said Jane R. Lanier, President & CDO, St. Vincent’s Foundation. "This school year we added GoNoodle, and we are already seeing a measurable improvement in increasing minutes of physical activity for northeast Florida students.”

To reward the students and teachers at Carter G. Woodson Elementary for winning the GoNoodle “Be a Champ” contest, Olympic Silver Medalist Hyleas Fountain (Beijing 2008) will join students as they play GoNoodle. Carter G. Woodson Elementary won the GoNoodle contest by generating 81,582 minutes of in-classroom physical activity since the middle of January.
NOTE TO EDITORS: Fountain will visit Carter G. Woodson Elementary School on Thursday, February 27, 2014 at 9:00 am to lead students in GoNoodle physical activity breaks during a school-wide assembly. The school is located at 2334 Butler Avenue, Jacksonville, FL.

GoNoodle brings a series of interactive physical activity breaks right into the classroom. Each GoNoodle physical activity break is designed to provide students 3-5 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity right next to their desks. Short bursts of physical activity are proven to have positive health benefits and improve student engagement, behavior and achievement.

“Health education and physical activity are essential to a child’s growth and development, and subsequently an important part of their school experience,” said Superintendent Dr. Nikolai P. Vitti. “We are so pleased to work alongside community businesses who truly understand this need including St. Vincent’s, Florida Blue and CSX, to bring healthy activity programs such as GoNoodle into the classroom for our students. These types of partnerships help us proactively and effectively develop the whole child.”

One of the GoNoodle physical activity breaks, “Run With US”, features Olympians leading students in virtual track and field events. Hyleas Fountain, who will lead Run With US activities at the school-wide assembly, represented the United States at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, winning the silver medal in the heptathlon.

“As someone who has devoted my life and livelihood to being physically active, I'm proud to help share that passion with elementary school students in Jacksonville and hopefully inspire another generation with the benefits of being physically fit,” said Olympic Silver Medalist Hyleas Fountain.

In addition to the track and field game, GoNoodle includes dancing, stretching, and even calming exercises, along with games that incorporate spelling, vocabulary and math with physical activity. Jacksonville-area teachers have access to GoNoodle at no cost thanks to generous support from St. Vincent’s HealthCare, Florida Blue, and CSX. Northeast Florida teachers can learn more about GoNoodle by visiting http://www.gonoodle.com.

About GoNoodle
GoNoodle is a research-based classroom resource for elementary teachers to improve student engagement and youth health through desk-side physical activity breaks. Helping to increase energy and focus while improving classroom behavior, GoNoodle’s games can be played on an interactive whiteboard, projector or computer screen. Learn more at http://www.gonoodle.com.

About St. Vincent’s HealthCare
St. Vincent’s HealthCare includes: St. Vincent’s Riverside, St. Vincent’s Southside, St. Vincent’s Clay County, St. Catherine Labouré Manor, St. Vincent’s Primary Care, Consolidated Laboratories, St. Vincent’s Ambulance Service, Seton Pharmacies and Consolidated Pharmacies. St. Vincent’s Medical Center was founded by the Daughters of Charity in 1916 to provide health services to the sick and the poor of North Florida. St. Luke’s Hospital, now St. Vincent’s Southside was founded in 1873 by three women who saw the need for medical care in the community. It stands as Florida’s oldest private hospital. St. Vincent’s HealthCare is a member of Ascension Health, the nation’s largest Catholic and nonprofit health system with more than 100,000 associates serving in 70 general acute care hospitals. Learn more at http://www.jaxhealth.com.

About Duval County Public Schools
Duval County Public Schools is one of the nation’s largest school districts, serving 127,000 students in over 180 schools. Its mission is to provide educational excellence in every school, for every classroom, to every student, every day. Learn more at http://www.duvalschools.org.

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Karen Hansen
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