Norman kids take a walk

REED CITY — It was a bit chilly early that October morning last week Tuesday when more than 700 youngsters joined forces with Spectrum Health/Reed City, city officials, teachers, friends and family members to take a journey all in the name of health.

The trek from G.T. Norman Elementary to the Reed City High School track and round it once, then head back to school basically kicked off a new Building Healthy Communities Campaign initiated by Blue Cross/Blue Shield.

Toting banners, waving them, watched their shadows as they walked, and waving at anyone with a camera or a smile, the youngsters brightened many who stood along the route. In addition to family and friends cheering them on, Reed City police officers, firemen, and ambulance personnel protected them at intersections, and preschoolers from a nearby classroom were out in force to wave them on. The new initiative is meant to raise community awareness toward health issues, and help find ways to make exercise not only a regular activity, but fun as well. The $32,000 grant will allow for a stronger partnership between Reed City Area Public Schools and Spectrum/Reed City. In addition to the walk, there are plans for health and nutrition programming for parents and students, as well as a community-oriented 5K walk/run. Plans also call for such things as walking clubs and HOP Sports. HOP is a computerized workout routine which features various well-known athletes leading the way to better health. In addition to using the system in gym classes, it will be available to adults from 3:30-4:15 p.m. each Monday and Wednesday. Check out video from the walk: