Local school fights obesity with to $10,000 donation to PE dept. - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Local school fights obesity with to $10,000 donation to PE dept.

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The fight against childhood obesity continues in Tennessee where 36% of kids are obese. The Volunteer State is the 4th worst state for childhood obesity. But one local school is trying to get back on the right foot in keeping kids healthy and they say that goal got a lot easier Friday with a big donation.

Orchard Knob Middle School's PE Department has $10,000 to do as it pleases thanks to BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee's "Shape The State" program. The company gave the grant to the Chattanooga school so it can buy new gym equipment, add to its physical ed program and cut down on obesity.

READ MORE | "Shape The State" Program

"They need these resources and they're excited. I mean, you can tell the administration is out in full force," said Chelsea Johnson, Community Relations Project Analyst at BlueCross BlueShield.

BlueCross BlueShield saw the need at Orchard Knob. With the grant money, the school now has two gym closets full of new stuff.

"It's been hard cause our basketballs have been flat. But now we have new basketballs and roller skates and stuff," said 8th Grader Tim Burrage.

No more deflated balls or limiting games to just football and basketball.

"It's good. We can play more games. The kids and students here can have more fun," Burrage said.

Fun for the kids and the principal who hopes her newer and more diverse PE program will do its part in cutting down on obesity, at least in her school. But she also knows to lead by example.

"It's making us adults take a good look at what we're doing and the example we're setting," Principal Crystal Sorrells said. "So we're gonna be out here participating as well cause we have some work to do in the physical fitness department also!"

Orchard Knob Middle School is the only school in Hamilton County to get the big check but BlueCross BlueShield also gave money to 19 other Tennessee Schools.

Click here to read more about childhood obesity in Tennessee.


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