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Eagle River school serious about fitness

Published on NewsOK Modified: February 17, 2013 at 10:02 am •  Published: February 17, 2013

White said she and her fellow students learned that being active is crucial because it has a lasting impact on someone's long-term health.

"It's really important to be healthy," she said.

According to the Department of Health and Social Services, roughly 30 percent of Alaska schoolchildren are overweight or obese. Norquest said that's the reason the state began the Healthy Futures Challenge, a program the has grown to include more than 140 schools across Alaska.

"We have grown from hundreds of kids participating to thousands of kids participating," she said.

APU skiers Greta Anderson, Kate Fitzgerald and Lars Flora dropped by the program to encourage the kids to keep up the good work. Fitzgerald said the skiers believe it's important to encourage healthy living at a young age.

"It's huge," she said. "When you're fit as a little kid, it only helps you gain momentum into adulthood."

Flora — a two-time Olympian — said APU has been involved with Healthy Futures for a couple years, and he's been thrilled at how quickly the program has caught on with kids.

"It's pretty amazing to watch it grow," he said.

White said the program has inspired she and her classmates to get out and play every single day — something that's not only healthy, but a lot of fun, too.

"It's really cool," she said.