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Ellinwood kids putting the crunch on obesity
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St. Joseph School students in grades 4-6 participated in the six-week Crunch Out Obesity program that began the first week of April. Thirteen completed their exercise and nutrition journals and wrote essays with the scene, I am living healthy. They received gift bags from sponsors Sunflower Bank, the United Way of Central Kansas, Dr. Charlie and Denise Joslin and the Ellinwood Recreation Commission. They include: (not in order) Nathan Ringwald, Emily Frakes, Hailey Gross Cameron Stevenson, Mya Maxwell, Raegan Morre, Gage Hosman, Blake Kubick, Logan Sturtz, Colleen Dunnaway, Gracie Schlessinger, Jada Vandermeer, and Jayden. - photo by COURTESY PHOTO

Crunch Out Obesity, the six-week program Ellinwood students in grades 4-6 participated in during April and May, came to an end Tuesday.  Sponsors visited classes and awarded prizes to winners at both Ellinwood Grade School and St. Joseph School.
“The goal during this six week Crunch Out Obesity program was to create a healthy lifestyle through physical activity and nutrition,” Sunflower Bank representative Becca Maxwell said. “We kicked off the program by doing a pep rally for these students while explaining the program and handing out their own personal exercise and nutritional journals and also presented exercise balls and jump ropes to the schools.”    
The students were encouraged to complete their journals to be eligible for weekly incentive and prizes. Fifteen students went all out and completed the six week nutritional journal and completed an essay, “I am living healthy,” putting them in the running for winning new bikes.  Two winners were chosen, Haley Gross and Emily Frakes, both of Ellinwood Grade School.  Bikes were provided courtesy of Troy Moore of the Central Kansas Orthopedic Group.  All runners-up received gift bags courtesy of sponsors Sunflower Bank, The United Way of Central Kansas, Dr. Charlie and Denise Joslin  and the Ellinwood Recreation Commission.  
Getting as many of the youth involved and active in this new program was a goal sponsors set, in light of alarming reports that obesity is at an all-time high in the United States, Maxwell said.  
Twenty-two students completed either the journal or the essay.  A total of 969 hours of exercise were logged between the two schools.  Colby Heinz, with 57 hours, logged the most at St. Joseph School, while Mya Maxwell logged the most hours of exercise at Ellinwood Grade School with 82.75 hours.  
Maxwell also recognize Colleen Dunnaway and Gracie Schlessinger, students at EGS, for committing to this program and involving their families at home.