East Los Angeles has one of the highest rates of obesity among children in Los Angeles County. According to a 2008 study from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, 32.9 percent of children in East Los Angeles were classified as obese, in contrast to 23 percent of children across Los Angeles County.
UCLA Health Sound Body Sound Mind is a physical education program that brings commercial-grade fitness equipment to underserved schools, along with a physical education curriculum focused on boosting confidence and making participation more enjoyable.
Belvedere Middle School in East Los Angeles will host a ribbon cutting to celebrate the grand opening of a $50,000 state-of-the-art fitness center. The new gym was donated by UCLA Health Sound Body Sound Mind, a program created to combat childhood obesity and promote healthy lifestyles by enhancing physical education programs and fitness resources for inner-city students. Students will demonstrate the fitness equipment and will be available for interviews, along with school administrators and representatives of UCLA Health Sound Body Sound Mind. Belvedere is one of seven Los Angeles area schools selected to receive a new fitness center this year. Belvedere Middle School is 99 percent Latino. All of the students at Belvedere Middle School in East Los Angeles are eligible for free or reduced price lunch, an indication of low-income populations.
WHO (students and school officials are bilingual)
Jonathan Bautista, 7th grade. He wants to stay fit and healthy and thinks the new fitness center will help encourage students to live healthier lives.
Yaseline Tzili, 8th grade. The only equipment that the school had was in a run-down weight room and most of the equipment was broken. She looks forward to using the new modern fitness center.
Maura Morales, 8th grade. She thinks the fitness center will be enormously helpful in getting students to pass the student fitness assessment.
Joanne Carrillo, principal of Belvedere Middle School
Armando Beltran and Arturo Rios, physical education teachers
Patrick McCredie, program manager of UCLA Health Sound Body Sound Mind
11 a.m. Friday, March 4
312 North Record Ave., Los Angeles, 90063 (map)
Amy Albin, UCLA Health Sciences Media Relations, firstname.lastname@example.org, 310-794-8672 (office); 310-597-5765 (cell)
Luke Brauer, UCLA Health Sound Body Sound Mind, email@example.com, 310-500-4284 (office); 310-307-6646 (cell)
For additional information on ribbon-cutting events at other schools, please contact Luke Brauer.