Greene County Tech Fights Childhood Obesity

October 8, 2004 -- Posted at 6:03 p.m. CDT

PARAGOULD, AR -- By now we've all heard the statistics about overweight kids in Arkansas. Greene County Tech Elementary School is taking a proactive approach to the problem.

The physical education department started a new program this week called the Feelin' Good Mileage Cub. Each student was given a mileage card. There are 20 footprints on each card. Every time a students walks or runs 1/4 of a mile they get a punch in their card. Once they receive a certain number of punches they get prizes like medals and t-shirts

While the kids are having fun, most of them don't realize they're also working to change a statistic.

"With Arkansas ranking third in childhood obesity, we've gotta get these kids moving,"said fifth grade teacher, Alice Miles.

The program is indirectly motivating parents to get in shape. Kids can earn credit for walking at home as long as they workout with a parent. Then, parents send a letter stating how far they've walked with their child, so far letters are pouring in with new mileage and thank you's.