School-based program continues to promote physical activity for students


McDowell CHOICES (Coordinated Health Opportunities Involving Communities, Environments and Schools) continues to support local schools in the southern region of the state. The project aims to increase the health and quality of life for students in McDowell County through a  USDA grant. The project, led by faculty members from CPASS and the WVU Health Sciences Center, focuses on advancing student achievement of the nationally recommended 60 minutes of physical activity per day.

“The CHOICES project has been one of the best physical activity programs we’ve had in McDowell County Schools. It has provided a variety of high interest activity programs and professional development for teachers, many of which will be sustainable for years to come,” explained Carolyn H. Falin, assistant superintendent of K-12 curriculum and instruction.

During the fall, local school leaders delivered 11 after-school programs for students and school personnel. The participating schools include Anawalt Elementary, Bradshaw Elementary, Fall River Elementary, Iaeger Elementary, Kimball Elementary, Welch Elementary and Mt. View Middle and High Schools.

The activities afforded access to a wide range of stimulating physical activity opportunities such as tap dance and ballet, movement education, fielding and striking games, Zumba fitness, baton twirling, hip hop dance, open gym nights and archery. There are 10 additional after-school physical activity programs planned for the spring 2016.

In addition to increasing physical activity programming after-school, the project has provided related professional development for classroom teachers in McDowell County to integrate movement into their classrooms. For more information about the program visit or contact Eloise Elliott, or 304-293-0869.

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