Governor Hosts Press Conference At Jackman Middle School

Spring 2006 | | May 21, 2006 at 3:31 pm

On Thursday, January 26, 2006, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and Vice Admiral Richard H. Carmona, the U.S. Surgeon General, visited Samuel Jackman Middle School to announce a combined federal and state effort to combat juvenile obesity and to showcase the governor’s proposals to improve physical education and nutritional standards in California’s public schools.

Children’s consumption of sugary, high caloric soft drinks and snack foods is believed to be one reason why nearly a third of American children are overweight or obese, according to some studies. Obesity has been linked to a number of health conditions, including high blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease.

In an effort to limit children’s access to unhealthy foods, California has turned to legislation. Soda sales are already prohibited at elementary and middle schools and next year the ban takes effect at high schools. Schools will no longer offer high sugar, high fat junk food either. These changes are part of a growing crusade to combat what medical experts call a public health crisis of fat Americans.

Governor Schwarzenegger complimented Jackman Middle School for its two-pronged approach to excellence in both physical education and academic achievement, commenting “What you’re doing here is a perfect example of what I’m talking about because you here in this school have great physical education programs…you not only pay a lot of attention to being physically fit but also to being mentally fit. I’ve heard about your test scores, your API, going up 31 points. It just shows the importance of having a balance between academic training and physical training … This is a model school and we want every school in California and every school in the country to be like that.”

The rally, taking place in the gymnasium with all of Jackman’s eighth graders in attendance, was a thrill for the students, staff members, and the community. Students appeared most affected by Schwarzenegger and his lifelong interest in physical fitness. “He’s strong and everything so that’s how we want to be when we grow up,” said one student. Another student sees a healthy lifestyle as helping kids to be successful, saying “I heard he exercises everyday and I feel that if we eat right and exercise everyday, we can be the next governor and we can go around inspiring other kids.”

Special thanks goes to Margaret Fortune, Director of Public Affairs in the Governor’s Office and member of the California GEAR UP Governance Committee, for coordinating this event.

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger commends Principal William Del Bonta for the school’s focus on student academic and physical improvement.

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