Jefferson City Public Schools push for a healthier environment

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JEFFERSON CITY - When it comes to wellness, Jefferson City Public Schools are not holding back. Lewis and Clark Middle School is one of the schools that is helping students and staff make healthier choices by tracking their health daily.

The staff in the middle school is using Active Track to record workouts and figure out proper diets to educate students the right way when it comes to health.

Becky Phenenger, wellness and safety coordinator, said many students have been surprised since many of them were unaware of empty calories or how harmful a large amount of sodium can be.

"We are going to work backwards from high school going down to middle school," said Phenenger. "Our middle schoolers are doing things in PE so they can see what their bodies are made up of, that way they can get some good evaluation numbers and tools to utilize."

With this tracking system, teachers have been able to take those health steps forward, along with their students. Seventh grade teacher Linda Tobar said if teachers use this tool to become less stressed, they can work and educate their students better.

"I am tracking my cardio and now I am working on getting my strength workouts," said Tobar. "I am also being more conscious about what I am eating that I can help my students with their new health project."

However, Jefferson City is not the only place in Mid-Missouri that is making health a priority. Moberly is taking advantage of a wellness grant to create more healthier plates to its cafeteria and add more after school activities.