This week, we check in on a program aiming to combat obesity at an early stage – elementary school. Plus, we chat with the future assistant superintendent for secondary education for Columbia public schools.
Childhood obesity rates are on the rise in the United States. According to the CDC, approximately 17 percent of children ages two to nineteen years old are obese. Researchers in Missouri are targeting one group of children they believe could help lower that percentage: fifth graders. Jump into Action is a program through the University of Missouri’s Extension Office, which encourages physical activity and healthier eating habits, starting with that age group. KBIA’s Ryan Schmidt went to Williamsburg Elementary school to see this program in action.
Dr. Jolene Yoakum will start as Columbia Public Schools’ new assistant superintendent for secondary education in July of next year. A Missouri native, Yoakum holds a doctorate degree in educational leadership from Nova Southeastern University. She currently serves as assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction in Seguin, Texas. KBIA’s Harum Helmy got ahold of Yoakum to talk about what she expects to find in Columbia.