In the past six months, people have been seeing Georgia SHAPE all over the state. Wherever it goes, the exhibit is not hard to spot. Dozens of kids and parents line up at events to spin the trivia wheel shaped like an orange slice or to take cards with healthy recipes written by Georgia chefs. Even the SHAPE van attracts attention – people sometimes honk their horns at stoplights and want to learn more about the program.
|Games at the SHAPE booth drew hundreds of kids at the Gwinnett Braves Education Day in May.|
Georgia SHAPE has traveled approximately 3,000 miles since May 2013, when the program’s exhibit began attending different events around the state. That journey is the equivalent of a trek from Atlanta to El Paso, Texas, and back. Along the way, more than 13,000 children and adults have learned about Georgia SHAPE and its mission to help Georgia’s kids be fit and healthy.
“We were grateful to have Georgia SHAPE represented at this unique and highly successful event,” said Diane Weems, M.D., district health director for the Coastal Health District, about the first-ever Safe Kids Savannah Youth Triathlon on Sept. 7. “It is so important that we give our children the resources and encouragement to make fitness fun and keep it a priority.”
The SHAPE exhibit has traveled to almost all corners of the state – from Atlanta to Savannah to Augusta, where the seventh annual Health and Wellness Expo on Sept. 21 connected residents of central Georgia with education and information from more than 40 local health care providers. In July, SHAPE traveled to Tift County for the Tift County Health Department’s Back to School Bash was held.
Georgia SHAPE’s road trip got off to a great start at the Gwinnett Braves Education Day on May 9. With approximately 7,000 kids and chaperones at the game, the event was by far the largest event on the exhibit’s statewide tour so far.
The SHAPE exhibit has had visits from several Georgia dignitaries, from Rep. David Scott to the queen of Putnam County’s 54th Annual Dairy Festival. The queen graciously played our SHAPE games and posed for pictures.
The exhibit offers fun games to engage children and help them learn more about how to eat a healthy diet and be physically active. One of the most popular attractions is the SHAPE interactive game mat, which senses motion and allows kids to play active games like soccer, air hockey and basketball with their feet. The SHAPE exhibit also offers information for parents, such as healthy recipe cards and general information about the program.
Georgia ranks 17th in the nation for childhood obesity, third in the nation for children who are overweight and 10th for both factors combined. Georgia SHAPE can impact these rankings one child at a time, one step at a time and one healthy meal at a time.