When Christina Cody learned about the obesity rate throughout South Carolina three years ago, as an anatomy and physiology teacher at Gaffney High School, she wanted to share it with her students. Little did she know it would spark a movement throughout her school district. Her students were floored by the numbers and soon began brainstorming ways to help solve the issue by educating others.
The students created brochures that highlighted causes of obesity, and offered solutions on how to be healthier. The school superintendent learned about the class project and was so impressed that she had 9,000 copies of the brochures professionally printed. Soon, Cody and her students applied for a Fuel Up to Play 60 grant, which has allowed them to organize Super Saturdays, family-friendly events held at various schools in the district where healthy, nutritious snacks were provided along with active games.
Cody is humbled and honored for her nomination, saying, “It is a huge team effort, there are so many people that make what I do possible — community team, school district, my ‘Cody Clan” student group. Any idea I had would not have been accomplished without the students because their voice made the difference in starting this movement. It is definitely a team recognition.”
Her efforts have sparked passion and purpose in her students who take on youth engagement leadership roles, including one student who was recently selected to be a Fuel Up to Play 60 state ambassador and applied for the National Youth Counsel. Her students have not only learned healthy habits but have taken on leadership positions in their schools and communities and become role models for younger students as well.
Cody hopes that these efforts will continue and eventually help the unhealthy trends and statistics go away.
Through the years, we’ve worked with exceptional individuals who understand local challenges facing their communities, and have the passion and the vision to create opportunities where people can make healthy choices where they live, work, learn, play and pray. We’re recognizing these individuals, who have been nominated by their peers and colleagues, to showcase their commitment to making the healthy choice, the easy choice.