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January 25, 2011 at 11:13am

SOTA supports Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! campaign

Photo credit: Anne Anderle

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On Friday, Jan. 21, a group of 60 students from Tacoma School of the Arts (SOTA) and Stewart Middle School defied logic and common sense by braving the rain and walking in support of Michelle Obama's Let's Move! campaign. The 6.6-mile walk was the culmination of the joint class "The New Faces of Fitness," taught by Michael Hagmann (Science/Math, SOTA), Debbie Shapiro (Health/English, SOTA), Kale Iverson (Science, Stewart) and Ben Shelton (PE, Stewart).

The class was focused on overall health, and encouraged students to be more active and to stay healthy by participating in various activities, including going to the Y and Zumba classes, learning yoga and Pilates and cooking lots of healthy food.

Most students took the class for very respectable reasons, like to stay active or improve their health. But more honestly, SOTA student Jonathan Buchholtz says he joined because, "I just wanted to get buff."

The class advocated for the Let's Move! campaign by learning about the program, taking a pledge to stay active and organizing the fitness walk. The national campaign was started roughly a year ago by First Lady Michelle Obama to combat childhood obesity. 

Ben Shelton, PE teacher at Stewart Middle School, says, "This is the first generation predicted to not outlive our parents, which is shocking considering all of the technology we have now."

Well, SOTA is doing something about it! If 60 reluctant middle school and high school students are willing to spend a day promoting a cause, it's probably a big deal.

The walk started at University of Puget Sound, went to Jason Lee Middle School, continued to the Tacoma School of the Arts building on 21st and Pacific Avenue and finished at Stewart Middle School. 

In true Northwestern style, the group ignored the rain, geared up and trudged through the drizzle - and managed to keep up their pep and excitement. (They inspired me so much I decided to take the long way back to my car!)

I got to honk at them in support as I passed in heated comfort, which is even more fun than it sounds. Usually people just swear at me when I honk, but this time everyone cheered! And my waving was only partly sarcastic.

The most impressive part of the day was seeing everyone tired, cold and wet, but still excited and dedicated to the cause and to finishing the 6.6 miles. These students completed quite a feat and inspired me to maybe take the long route to my car every day.

Filed under: All ages, Health, Community, Tacoma,

Comments for "SOTA supports Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! campaign " (1)

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michelle obama obesity said on Jan. 27, 2011 at 7:31pm

Great choice to support Ms. Obama here. Let's hope this is a tipping point.

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