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PRESS RELEASE / ANNOUNCEMENTS Tuesday, March 20, 2012

$1500 Grant Award to Sansum Diabetes Research Institute

Sansum Diabetes Research Institute (SDRI) received a $1500 grant to support its work with Santa Barbara High School students in the Ready2Move Club.


The Club is spearheading the 2nd Annual Week of Wellness (W.O.W.) and Nourishing Nights of Food and Film (N2F2). W.O.W. takes place at SBHS from March 19–23, addressing the themes of body image, nutrition, healthy beverage options, physical fitness, and diabetes awareness. N2F2 will run from May to June and incorporate six hands-on cooking lessons and youth-led film discussions. These lessons will be facilitated by four youth leaders.

The upcoming Week of Wellness is a collaboration between the Ready2Move Club, Santa Barbara High School, and The Fund for Santa Barbara’s Youth Making Change program. Ready2Move (R2M), an after-school health advocacy program at SBHS (initiated by SDRI with funding from the Birdwell Family Trust) offers biweekly meetings with fitness challenges, health education, and the Passport to Wellness, a personal progress tracker for attendance, weight and goals. This club provides a safe, nonjudgmental atmosphere for students to improve fitness and health literacy. R2M members hope this event raises awareness about diabetes prevention through their campus-wide celebration of wellness.

R2M members understand the importance of a healthy lifestyle to reduce one’s risk of type 2 diabetes. Diabetes is now seen more commonly among youth because of factors like poor dietary habits, lack of physical activity, and the prevalence of inexpensive, unhealthy “food”. It is estimated that 25.8 million children and adults in the United States—8.3% of the population—have diabetes. Of the 25.8 million diabetics, approximately 7 million diabetics are unaware they have the disease (American Diabetes Association, 2011). Even more alarming is the estimated 79 million Americans who are pre-diabetic, many unknowingly living with dangerously high blood sugar levels.

The 2nd Annual Week of Wellness’ daily lunchtime activities will include a cooking demo, a healthy art walk, a Zumba® fitness class, and a Community Wellness Fair. Participating students can receive cookbooks, water bottles, and/or bracelets as well as the chance to win a donated prize. R2M has received overwhelming support through donations and agreements to participate from educators, guest speakers, and local businesses. Co-advisers are SDRI project coordinator Rose Linehan and SBHS physical education teacher Joanie Merrill. Other sponsors include SBSD Nutrition Services, The Berry Man, Art Essentials, 24 Hour Fitness, Spectrum Athletic Club, Play It Again Sports, Silvergreens, Backyard Bowls, Trader Joe’s, CrushCakes Café, and the staff at SBHS.

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