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White County assistant principal helps in fight for good health

By: Kristen Oliver with Gainesville Times, Jan 2, 2016

Jennifer Glover spent the last year combining her careers in education and food production to help Georgia children live healthier lives. Glover, assistant principal at White County Intermediate School and co-owners of Glo-Crest Dairy and Mountain Fresh Creamery in Clermont, joined the Governor’s Advisory Council on Childhood Obesity in early 2015. Glover, who also serves on the board of directors for the American Dairy Association, said she met with the council three times in 2015. It will meet again Jan. 7 at the state Capitol.

“Our school in White County became a Shape-certified school, and I went through training for that,” she said. “Lots of schools in North Georgia and actually throughout Georgia are becoming Shape schools and taking the pledge to incorporate 30 minutes of exercise into their day.”

The Georgia Shape initiative, brings together representatives from government, businesses, schools and charitable organizations to promote healthy, active lifestyles. In 2013, the initiative launched “Power Up for 30,” a program encouraging elementary schools to add an extra 30 minutes of physical activity into each school day. Several Hall County and Gainesville schools have adopted the initiative, including all Gainesville elementary schools and 20 Hall elementary and middle schools. Glover said White County Intermediate adjusted its school day to accommodate this need for children.

“We’ve actually opened our doors 15 minutes earlier, so we open at 7 a.m.,” she said. “That allows the children to workout in the gym with a P.E. teacher from 7 to 7:30 (a.m.).”

More than 550 schools across Georgia have received grants through the initiative and taken the Power Up for 30 pledge. In meetings with the other members of the advisory council, Glover said they discuss how Shape and other initiatives are benefiting Georgia children.

“During that time, we’ll talk a lot about the program’s we’ve implemented and how they’re working, and research so far of different programs throughout the United States is presented to the council,” she said. Glover said she hopes her work with the council will help young people form stronger futures.

“We’re hoping it will help our children become more physically fit and active, and to maintain that for the rest of their lives,” she said. “We want them to see the importance of good nutrition benefits and daily exercise to create a healthier lifestyle for themselves.”