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Healthworks! is usually packed with kids, but on Thursday, teachers, counselors, nurses and other professionals sat through sessions on topics such as shared use agreements, cyber bullying and using role play to teach health in the classroom.

The third annual “Wellness Summit” is sponsored by Strengthening Health and Physical Education, or SHARE.

It’s about more than just physical exercise and nutrition.

“We look at mental health, safety in schools, we try to look at all the different components that make a child well, healthy and happy,” said Kathy Tucker, of Healthworks!

As Health Aide Coordinator for Baptist Health Systems, Shay Lewis knows how important it is to get the latest information, resources and techniques into the hands of educators.

“Conveying those health messages in the classroom is really conducive to learning and higher test scores,” Lewis said.

Teachers and even future educators say a well rounded and focused approach to health education is vital.

“By us being monitors and mentors to them, they will observe what the teacher is doing and at the same time give them an enhanced vision of what they want to do with their life and how they want to improve and be better,” said Joseph Lampkin, with East Oktibbeha Elementary.

“Mississippi is the worst when it comes to overall physical health, we are always the best at being worst and worst at being best, so we are number one in obesity and we got to do something about that,” said Jamus Wilson, a senior at Jackson State University.

Events like the “Wellness Summit” are designed to do just that, by educating and instilling healthy habits in the lives of young people.

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