Our Power Motivates Students to Get Fit

Event Date: Jan. 1, 2012

Just one year after the establishment of Let’s Move! Newark, the effort now includes the use of cutting-edge technology that makes Newark’s program the first of its kind in the nation.  In October of 2011, Let’s Move! Newark launched a new program for Newark Public School Students called Let’s Move! Newark: Our Power (LM!NOP).  MayorCory A. Booker, Deputy Mayor of Neighborhood EngagementMargarita Muñiz, and Newark Public Schools Superintendent Cami Anderson, partnered with Behavioral Health & Fitness Expert Jeff Halevy to bring a four-month fitness challenge to some 1,500 students from Barringer, Central, East Side, Weequahic, andWest Side high schools.

Former New York Giants football star Tiki Barber, former New Jersey Nets star Kerry Kittles, and New Jersey Nets General Manager Billy King came to the kickoff event at East SideHigh School.  Hip-Hop legend and weight loss advocate Fat Joe announced the winners at a Weequahic High School event.  Fat Joe has recently lost over 100 pounds and chose to be a part LM!NOP to encourage our youth to follow his success.  It wasBarringerHigh School that came in first with over 600,000 minutes moved, so they earned an appearance by Fat Joe as a uniquely special reward.

Representatives of all five schools convened at Weequahic HS for a dialog on healthy living and a concert by Fat Joe.  Prizes also included over 500 hundred tickets for students, staff, and parent to a Nets basketball game atNewark’sPrudentialCenter.

Jeff Halevy created LM!NOP around a device called MYTRAK and explains that the program “goes beyond awareness and creates a real, tangible system that inspires change and growth both physically and mentally for future generations.”  Each participating student received their own wearable MYTRAK device, which is smaller than a credit card, and measures duration of physical activity as well as its intensity.  The high tech devices were donated to the school district through collaboration with Halevy, MYTRAK and the City of Newark.  MYTRAK tabulates the amount of physical activity that each student performs, and lights up bright green, when 60 minutes of physical activity has been achieved.

Photo Credit: Ivan Gabel. Above, left to right: Cami Anderson, Fat Joe, Mayor Cory A. Booker and Jeff Halevy

Photo Credit: Ivan Gabel. Above: Students and faculty dance at a performance by Hip Hop star Fat Joe.

Photo Credit: Newark Public Schools. Above: East Side High students take part in a basketball clinic after the launching ceremony.

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