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Taking a Hike to Celebrate Health, Community, and Partnership

More than 80 high school students, community members, and staff from Hollywood High School hiked through Griffith Park with support from KP’s Healthy Eating, Active Living grant.

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Physical activity and good health go hand in hand.  A great way to help kids develop good health and exercise habits is to show them how fun it can be to keep fit.

Recently, more than 80 high school students, community members, and staff from Hollywood High School took part in a rigorous, four-mile hike in Griffith Park. The hike was organized as a part of Hollywood High School’s 3rd annual “Sheik-a-thon” – a fundraising event in celebration of health, community, and partnership. Following a brief kick-off ceremony, participants made the four-mile trek up to the iconic Hollywood Sign, putting their endurance and physical fitness skills to the test. Once at the summit, the group celebrated the milestone by posing for group photos and taking in the scenic view. After the hike the group was treated to a healthy picnic prepared by Chef E and Frank of Healthy Eats Produce and Catering.

At the picnic students were beaming as they described how fun and rewarding the experience had been. One student hoped to see other schools engage in healthy fund raising efforts that would increase students’ interests in active living and enjoying the beauty found in their own back yard.  “We’ve been able to explore creative ways for students to have a fun and meaningful school experience,” says Mario Ceballos, community benefit manager at the Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles Medical Center.  The Sheik-a-thon is a key example of rethinking how schools can raise funds while positively impacting the overall health of students, their parents and teachers.  We are proud of what the students have accomplished and are inspired by their enthusiasm for health and knowledge.”

Students and their families were cheered by school staff as well as local elected officials including Los Angeles Unified School District Board President Steve Zimmer, LA City Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell (13th District), and former LA City Councilmember Tom LaBonge (4th District) .

Funded as part of Kaiser Permanente’s Healthy Eating, Active Living (HEAL) grant to The L.A. Trust, the Sheik-a-thon is just one of several HEAL initiatives happening across the Hollywood High campus. Other initiatives include a new weight room that is now open to students during lunchtime, Zumba and nutrition classes for parents, a faculty walking club, and F.A.M.E. (Fit, Active, Motivated and Empowered) a student- led, peer-focused club that implements health campaigns and outreach on campus. Pleased with their success at Hollywood High School, school leaders say they are working to spread this movement to other LAUSD campuses.

Click here for a story by the LA Trust: http://thelatrust.org/hollywood-high-new-traditions-new-journey-health/

Click here for a video that documents the event:  https://vimeo.com/161814711