UCLA Health Sound Body Sound Mind has partnered with 137 schools in the L.A. area.UCLA Health Sound Body Sound Mind has partnered with 137 schools in the L.A. area.UCLA Health Sound Body Sound Mind has partnered with 137 schools in the L.A. area.UCLA Health Sound Body Sound Mind has partnered with 137 schools in the L.A. area.UCLA Health Sound Body Sound Mind has partnered with 137 schools in the L.A. area.
Partnership brings PE programs to underserved schools
November 2, 2020
Name: UCLA Health Sound Body Sound Mind Award: Partners in Educational Excellence Award
According to the LA County Department of Public Health, 42 percent of children are obese or overweight. These children are more likely to live in low-income, high-minority communities, which often lack safe outdoor places to play and recreate. In addition, schools often lack the funding to purchase and properly maintain fitness equipment.
UCLA Health Sound Body Sound Mind is dedicated to changing
all this by promoting self-confidence and healthy lifestyle choices among today’s youth. For the last 21 years, the organization has partnered with 137 middle schools and high schools across Los Angeles to provide comprehensive physical education programs in some of the city’s most under-served communities.   Partner schools receive state-of-the-art fitness centers, including spin bicycles, rowing machines, ellipticals and weight equipment. The organization works individually with each school to select a specialized mix of equipment that aligns with the goals of physical education departments and the needs of students. Fitness centers receive ongoing maintenance and support from professional fitness equipment repair personnel, so instructors and students can be assured the equipment will always be in good repair. Physical education teachers also receive ongoing professional development on how to best use the equipment and incorporate it into their curriculum. 
“Many organizations work to provide schools with a bit of extra support. Often, after the grant is awarded and the positive press is done, the organization moves on, this is not so with UCLA,” said Debra McIntyre-Sciarrino, principal at Christopher Columbus Middle School. “UCLA Health Sound Body Sound Mind has become a true collaborative partner working to teach our students about healthy life choices that will endure their entire lives.” The organization has also developed its own physical education curriculum to educate students on the fundamentals of fitness and a nutrition curriculum with corresponding activities and tips for teachers to implement during physical education. UCLA Health Sound Body Sound Mind is helping students like Hazel Landazuri cultivate healthy habits they can carry forward into their adult lives. “Working out lets you free your mind and lets you think and grow as a person. When you need that time to think, going for a run in a safe area allows you to de-stress,” she said. “If you’re the type of person to stress or have anxiety, or have hard times it’s important to take time for self-care.” 
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