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UTA Helps Grand Prairie School Get Active

UTA Helps Grand Prairie School Get Active

“Ready on the whistle!” shouted UTA senior kinesiology major John Goodman.

The group of sixth grade boys responded, warming up with sprints and shuffles.

They were gathered on a field behind the Young Men’s Leadership Academy at Kennedy Middle School, an all-male school in the Grand Prairie Independent School District. The school is located about eight miles east of the University of Texas at Arlington campus. 

The school has 900 students and only one soccer team, said UTA Associate Professor of Kinesiology Larry Nelson, adding that sixth graders aren’t able to take part in athletics. Nelson organized an after school soccer program to offer a healthy alternative to a sedentary life, an example of UTA’s commitment to being a leader in public health, part of the Bold Solutions|Global Impact Strategic Plan

Twice a week the Grand Prairie students learned soccer techniques from Nelson, Goodman, and other UTA students from the College of Nursing and Health Innovation who plan to make a career coaching or teaching physical fitness. Learn more about why Grand Praire was targeted here.

UTA nursing students also came to the Young Men’s Leadership Academy to teach nutrition classes, while nursing faculty teamed with Baylor Health to teach parents about making healthy food choices for their families. 

“At the end of the day our goal was to increase levels of health literacy,” said Dr. Margarita Trevino, Director of the Center for Hispanic Studies in Nursing and Health at UTA. “That can be a key to a whole lifetime of healthy choices.”

The young boys appreciated the attention. “I’m proud because they’re teaching us to play better and be better,” said sixth grader Roman Gonzalez.

Monday, February 22, 2016