Tennessee SCORE Project

Tennessee’s SCORE Team Invests in Lewis County’s Children

See what the Lewis County Herald had to say about the grand opening of the Lewis County Fitness Center.
The Tennessee Southern Collaborative for Obesity Reduction Efforts (SCORE) team used its $10,000 grant to help purchase a wellness center to be shared by Lewis County Intermediate and Middle schools. Approximately 850 students in grades 3-8 are benefitting from the fitness equipment, which includes circuit training with child-sized weight machines. Each classroom teacher in grades 3-5 has a 30 minute time slot in which they may bring their students. The sixth- through eighth-grade grade physical education classes have 20 minutes per week set aside for them. Additionally, there are open times in the schedule so teachers who want to use it more can schedule an additional time slot. On the days students don’t go to the wellness center, they get physical activity in their classrooms. The fitness center also is used after school two days a week by Team Fitness (Project Diabetes) participants. Body mass index and physical fitness assessments were done in September 2008 as a baseline and will be repeated in May 2009 to see how the student’s fitness level and BMI improve with access to this facility.
Lewis County is a small district with fewer than 2,000 students, 63 percent of them on free or reduced-price meals. Despite being small, the district has a strong commitment to the health of its students. “People kind of assume if you’re from a rural community, you’re backwards,” said Benny Pace, director of the Lewis County Schools. “We’re not backwards, we’re back woods. … We’re used to pooling our resources. I’m moved by this effort. I’m a physical education major. I know we have a great need for physical fitness.”
For more information, contact Coordinated School Health Supervisor Sasha Powers at


Students at Lewis County Intermediate and Middle schools demonstrate how they do circuit training with the equipment in their new Wellness Center, which was provided by funding from the Tennessee SCORE Team. SCORE is a program of The Council of State Governments with funding by Leadership for Healthy Communities, a part of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. In photo at left, Dearea Flippin, 9, a third-grade student in Lewis County, gets some time in on one of the school district’s new weight machines. She said using the machines is fun, but she admits the arm curls are “the hardest.”











Coordinated School Health

Tennessee was the first state to fully fund the implementation of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Coordinated School Health Program. Read the legislation here.


Step Up to Health in Davidson County

Public health leaders in Davidson County, Tenn., got minority children who are at risk of becoming obese moving through a unique idea that combines cultural heritage, exercise and academics all in one program.
The Step Up to Health program, started in 2008, gets children moving through step teams. Stepping, which is based on traditional West African tribal dancing, became popular with the fraternities and sororities at historically black colleges in the 1940s. Step dancers move in unison and hit the floor heavily with their shoes, which creates the beat of the dance and is added to by handclaps, shouts and sometimes props like canes.
Funded by the Project Diabetes Board of the state Department of Health, Step Up to Health has teams set up in 15 community centers across Davidson County, which is home to Nashville. Children ages 11-15 participate on the teams and practice a minimum of three hours each week. Health educators have lessons one hour a week with the children, going more in-depth on issues such as proper eating and how to take care of their bodies. Students also receive assistance with their homework through tutors, since they must maintain at least a 2.0 grade point average to be able to participate in the program. The teams participate in four showcases each year to show off their routines and compete against other teams from across the country.
Warren Isenhour, director of Step Up to Health, said they keep track of how physically fit the children are before and after participation in the program, as well as how active they are and how much they know about health. “We don’t turn kids away for their weight,” Isenhour said. “If a doctor clears them for activity, they’re in.”
For more information on Step Up to Health, contact Director Warren Isenhour at
Click here to see a sample of the Music City Step Fest, held in Nashville, where the Step Up to Health teams participate


Stewart County: Taking Kids to the Market

The teachers and residents of Stewart County have come up with a truly unique way to teach not just nutrition, but also geography, math, foreign languages and even social studies. They built their own school supermarket, the Super B Market.
Stewart County is a rural county in the extreme north of Tennessee with just 12,000 residents. The staff, parents, students and community around North Stewart Elementary School set up a supermarket in a vacant room at the school. Low shelves line the back of the room. They are filled with everything you might find at regular grocery store: crackers, cereal, frozen dinners, detergent, bread and even a whole fish. The boxes were donated by community members, filled with sand and then taped up. Someone donated an old treadmill, which was turned into a conveyor belt at the checkout stand. There is also a cash register, child-sized shopping carts and signs in both English and Spanish. The supermarket cost the school district nothing because of massive community support and a $400 donation from the University of Tennessee Extension Service. The University of Tennessee is currently working with the school to develop a curriculum for the supermarket so it can be more easily replicated across the state. Recent lessons including figuring percentages of daily fiber derived from certain products and even why the middle of the country is called “America’s Breadbasket.”
“I like to do it,” said Makayleigh Lackey, 10, a fourth-grader at North Stewart. “It’s really fun and you get to learn about a lot of things you don’t normally get to know. … You get to learn how to be a happy and healthy kid.”
For more information, contact Elaine Jackson, director of Coordinated School Health for Stewart County Schools, at


Students in Tiffany Robertson’s fourth-grade class at North Stewart Elementary School work out how many grams of fiber – and how big a percentage of their daily fiber needs that is – can be found in their favorite foods.
Take a look at a kindergarten class using the Super B Market
Video 1 | Video 2