Children challenged to focus on health

Children from Southland Adventist Christian School in mufti day attire.

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Children from Adventist schools in New Zealand participated in a variety of fun and healthy activities as part of Adventist Health Week 2018.

The children and their teachers were involved in a daily health challenge for five days; those who completed the challenge received a Health Week certificate.

The focus of this year’s Health Week was the 10,000 Toes campaign, an initiative of Adventist Health and the Adventist Development and Relief Agency to tackle the epidemic of diabetes in the South Pacific.

Along with the five-day challenge, the children participated in mufti days and other initiatives to raise money for 10,000 Toes.

Enjoying a healthy breakfast at Whangarei Adventist Christian School.

According to Adventist Health Ministries (NZ) director Adrielle Carrasco, Health Week is becoming a big event on the calendar for Adventist schools in NZ.

“It was such a blessing to hear the positive feedback coming from our schools,” she said.

“So many children have benefitted not only by participating in the Health Week challenge but through raising money that will go towards helping our Pacific nations to combat type 2 diabetes. It’s great to see how our Church can support our Pacific families.”

Whangarei Adventist Christian School principal Anna Charlie said Health Week was so popular at her school, the students asked if they could do it every week.

Day one saw the children enjoy a free buffet breakfast. On day two they were encouraged to drink plenty of water. Day three was all about exercise—every 30 minutes they stopped what they were doing and did the chicken dance. On day four they learned about the importance of sleep and on the final day they gave thanks to God for making them special. They wrote what they were thankful for onto handprints, which were then assembled into a special art display.

Unique art display created by the children of Whangarei Adventist School.

Southland Adventist Christian School (Invercargill) also encouraged children to participate in the daily health challenge. On the final day they held a mufti day to raise funds for 10,000 Toes.

“Our students were asked to come dressed looking ‘healthy and fit’,” principal Josh Taylor said.

“Students could dress in fitness gear or they could even dress as their favourite fruit or vegetable. We had some great outfits and together we raised $87—not bad for a school our size!”

Plenty of healthy fun was also enjoyed by the students at Hamilton Adventist Christian School, according to principal Shaun Hurlow.

Hamilton kids doing the ‘plank hold’.

Activities throughout the week included a fitness circuit run by the school’s house captains and a mufti day with the theme “Shine” to encourage students to think positively and have a bright outlook on life.

“We also had a ‘Footprints for $1’ display to track how much money each house had raised for the cause of stomping out diabetes. This visual display was very successful and we saw plenty of competition to see which house group stomped the furthest,” Mr Hurlow said.

Health Week resources were developed by the Health Ministries department of the New Zealand Pacific Union Conference, including a special song with lyrics based around how to prevent type 2 diabetes.

One of the creative costumes at Southland Adventist School.
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