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Donald Driver visits Brooklyn Elementary in Oregon, Wisconsin

May 11, 2016

School won the annual Driven to Better Health challenge, a partnership with Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin

MILWAUKEE – Green Bay Packers’ all-time leading receiver, “Dancing with the Stars” champion and four-time children’s book author Donald Driver made a personal visit to the students at Brooklyn Elementary in Oregon, Wisconsin, Thursday, May 12, to congratulate them for winning the 2016 Driven to Better Health school challenge.

Driver has teamed up with Children’s Hospital to establish Driven to Better Health, a school-and family-based wellness partnership for Wisconsin children and families.

Brooklyn Elementary went beyond the school walls to implement Driven to Better Health, reaching into the local community with over 25 different sustainable nutrition and physical activities, which the school routinely documented on their school’s Driven to Better Health Facebook page. Efforts included:
• Implemented and completed Mission: Health, a fun and interactive e-learning program for grades K5 through 8. Created by Children's Hospital of Wisconsin, Mission: Health helps kids establish healthy habits, increase physical activity and avoid childhood obesity.
• Started a running club which has lead to more focused classrooms on the days the students participate.
• Created prominent graphs to show how the school was doing in their healthy eating and exercise activities throughout the Driven to Better Health program.
• Sent out a newsletter to parents to update them on past, current and future Driven to Better Health related events.
• Held a “Beat the Winter Blues Fest” for the community and families to stay active in the Wisconsin winter.

Driven to Better Health has not only impacted our school but our community in a very positive way,” said Kerri Modjeski, principal of Brooklyn Elementary. “The ripple effect of better health through physical activity and better nutrition can be seen in our halls every day. Having Donald Driver here to congratulate the students and staff on their accomplishments will ‘drive’ us to continue these efforts.“

Brooklyn Elementary was selected from over 100 elementary and middle schools throughout the state that signed up to participate Driven to Better Health, implementing physical activity and healthy nutrition activities for their school community. Four finalists were chosen.

Donald Driver inspired and motivated participants along the way sharing personal healthy recipes, work-out videos, monthly recorded all-school announcements, and encouraging words via social media. He shared this video message to kick off the partnership.

“The students and staff at Brooklyn Elementary exemplify what Driven to Better Health is all about,” Driver said. “They made sustainable, healthy changes not only in the school but also in their community as a whole. Children’s Hospital and I want Wisconsin’s kids to be the healthiest in the nation and I am proud to say all of our 100-plus Driven to Better Health schools took a huge step in making that a reality.”

“Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin wants all kids to be healthy so that they may reach their fullest potential. Driven to Better Health is a great way to educate and encourage healthy habits of eating right and increased physical activity starting in the schools and hopefully continuing at home, which is what Brooklyn Elementary was able to do,” said Bridget Clementi, vice president, community health, Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin. “Donald Driver’s dedication and enthusiasm has propelled this program’s huge success.”

"Brooklyn Elementary created a community-wide effort that exemplifies the health and wellness Driven to Better Health hopes to achieve state-wide," said Eileen Hare, Health Education, Physical Education and Activity, Coordinated School Health Consultant for the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction. "The Driven to Better Health program created revitalization, new ideas, community partnerships and constant energy towards best physical activity and nutrition practices that will be a role model for the state for years to come.”

Next month, Children’s Hospital and Driver will kick off a family challenge, and Driver will visit one lucky family in their home for demonstrating improved nutrition, physical education, and physical activity. The program is another step Children’s is taking toward their vision of making the kids of Wisconsin the healthiest in the nation, and it’s another way Driver is working to instill healthy habits in today’s youth. Information about how families can participate is available at driventobetterhealth.com.

About Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin
Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin is the region’s only independent health care system dedicated solely to the health and well-being of children. The hospital, with locations in Milwaukee and Neenah, Wis., is recognized as one of the leading pediatric health care centers in the United States. It is ranked No. 4 in the nation by Parents magazine and ranked in all 10 specialty areas in U.S. News & World Report’s 2014-15 Best Children’s Hospitals report. Children’s provides primary care, specialty care, urgent care, emergency care, community health services, foster and adoption services, child and family counseling, child advocacy services and family resource centers. In 2012, Children’s invested more than $117 million in the community to improve the health status of children through medical care, advocacy, education and pediatric medical research. Children’s achieves its mission in part through donations from individuals, corporations and foundations and is proud to be a member of Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. For more information, visit the website at chw.org.

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