Left to Right: Christa Stoneham Mayor’s Manager of Communities, Houston Director of Education Juliet Stipeche, Samir Becic, UNICEF Director for Texas Nelson Bowman, and Olivera Jankovska Global Citizenship fellow

In an effort to reduce the rising obesity epidemic among our children in America, Houston’s “fitness Czar” Samir Becic attended a meeting between UNICEF and the City of Houston! Samir met with UNICEF Director for Texas Nelson Bowman, Olivera Jankovska UNICEF’s Global Citizenship fellow, Houston Director of Education Juliet Stipeche, and Christa Stoneham the Mayor’s Manager of Communities in order to discuss an exciting new program from UNICEF called Kid Power Program, which encourages American elementary school students to stay active with a special fitness band. Each participant tracks his or her steps, racking up points that are then converted into life-saving nutrition packets for malnourished children in developing countries. Ultimately, we all want our kids to get more active and healthy!

Samir was impressed with the professionalism and dynamic energy of all parties involved. UNICEF and the City of Houston have one of the best teams in America according to Becic.

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Director of Education Juliet Stipeche, Samir Becic, and Manager of Communities for the Mayor Christa Stoneham

Here are just a few of the ways health and fitness have been proven to benefit students:

  • It turns out that physical exercise acts as a multiplier on student performance, improving academic performance and student behavior.
  • Take a University of Georgia study that found 60 minutes of exercises benefits information processing.
  • Stanford report that shows a positive link between activity and creative thinking.
  • Physical activity is an excellent setting for social skills development, collaborative problem solving, practicing good sportsmanship, and providing a safe and healthy environment for children and teens to gather.

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