OSSINING, NY – Senator David Carlucci (D-Westchester/Rockland) was at Ossining Middle School to talk about the importance of teen health and wellness to a group of around 100 middle school students. As part of the presentation, the Senator announced $40,000 in bullet aid funding he was able to secure that will go directly towards health and wellness initiatives in the school and throughout the community.
Senator Carlucci said, “I am proud to be able to bring back taxpayer dollars from Albany to help fund important programs in our schools. The obesity epidemic has reached epic proportions in New York State and we need to work together with our schools to address the problem directly. The $40,000 in bullet aid funding will help kick start the process by funding the construction of a state of the art fitness center in the Middle School that will be open to the public.”
In the past 30 years, children ages 2 to 5 and 12 to 19 have seen their obesity rate triple. In 2012, New York was among the top 20 states in regards to overweight or obesity prevalence in children aged 10 to 17. According to the National Survey of Children’s Health, 14.5% of New York’s children are obese, and 32.4% overweight or obese. Disturbingly, the latter figure is greater than the national rate of 31.1%.
Senator Carlucci also urged Hudson Valley students in Westchester County to visit www.TeenHealthNY.com to fill out an online survey on issues relating to obesity, alcohol and substance abuse, and endometriosis.
The Teen Health Awareness Campaign was kick started earlier this year in Albany and focuses on reducing adolescent obesity, educating students about the health consequences of short and long-term alcohol and substance abuse, and raising awareness among young women and health professionals about endometriosis, an often mid-diagnosed but debilitating disease.
Assmeblywoman Sandy Galef said, ""In order to deal with the growing issues surrounding obesity in children, many steps are required, including providing for physical activity in schools. I am pleased that this year's New York State budget included both this grant for health and wellness initiatives to the Ossining School District as well as a 2013 income tax check-off for the New York State Teen Health Education Fund."
The Additional educational resources for these three health areas will be provided through a newly created Healthy Teen Awareness and Education Fund. The fund is projected to raise as much as $1 million for the through a “check-off box” on all future state income tax forms.
Ossining Athletic Director said, “I would like to take this opportunity to thank Senator Carlucci with the support he is providing the Ossining School District. The funds will be used to design a "state of the art" fitness room at Anne M. Dorner and purchase much needed athletic equipment. The students, staff, and coaches will use the funds to improve athletic performance and improve personal well being.”
Ossining Superintendent Ray Sanchez echoed the sentiment, “Teen obesity has become an epidemic in our schools throughout the State. I am glad that Senator Carlucci is taking the initiative and creating programs that will have a real positive effect on the problem. The funds will go a long way to preventing obesity moving forward in Ossining and throughout the area.