Funds raised during a dress red day by children at private schools during World Health Day late last month have been donated to the Children’s Health Task Force’s Health4Youth programme.
The Heart Health Centre invited private schools to participate in a wear red dress down day on 29 September and proceeds were donated to the Children’s Health Task Force, Health4Youth programme, which was the catalyst behind medical screenings for children and bringing awareness with respect to childhood obesity.
“We believe schools play a critical role in the overall development of children and can be key partners in the prevention of heart disease”, said Jacqueline Ebanks, director of the Heart health Centre, who was instrumental in orgainising the participation of Cayman International School and Montessori by the Sea and supplying resource materials for classrooms.
World Heart Day was created in 2000 by The World Heart Federation to bring awareness about cardiovascular disease by promoting activities and screening events all over the world.
Dr Shirley Cridland, director of the Cayman Heart Fund and Health4Youth Program reminded students that it is important “to eat healthy, be active and make time for play and sleep”.
The Health4Youth programme was launched in a bid to tackle the rise in the number of Cayman’s school children who are obese or risk becoming obese. Supported by the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Education, The Children’s Health Task Force helped develop a new food policy which was implemented in public schools in September 2010.
Among projects planned for next year are nutrition and healthy eating classes in primary schools, measurement of students at least twice per year to track their progress and participation in the school curriculum to educate, motivate and challenge the students to eat healthy and be active.