The story behind the WVFEDUP movement is rather unique. In September 2015, Kirk and Mandy Curry (founders of Healthy Kids Inc.) learned that the national FED UP movie team was holding a kickstarter campaign to make their movie and curriculum available to any/all teachers in the U.S. at no cost. They knew this movie had the power to change lives in WV and wanted to purchase a movie for every school in the state. They pitched the idea to Laura Dice and Dr. Jamie Jeffrey at KEYS4HealthyKids. KEYS was a huge fan of the movie and in fact, held the only WV viewing of the FED UP film in a Charleston theatre for community members to watch when the film was released the previous year. The two groups decided to come together to sponsor FED UP in schools for WV, becoming the only groups to sponsor a FED UP movie for an entire state throughout the Kickstarter campaign. From that, the WVFEDUP movement was born.
It has been an incredible journey. In the first few months of the launch, more than 300 teachers representing 200 schools throughout WV signed up to participate in the movie viewing.
So what's next?
Our team has spent the last year building a strategy to expand and build upon the past year's efforts. We know firsthand that the FED UP movie is changing lives and giving students a new perspective on food, health, and busting the myths that we have been told to believe for so many years (like all calories are created equal, and we can exercise our way out of consuming bad foods, and the role that manufacturers and counter marketing play in our food beliefs). But education alone will not be enough to turn the tide on WV's health.
For the first time we are seeing students angry, emotional, and ready to create a healthier environment. For the first time we are seeing students demand the healthier option. Students want to work with food service cooks on menu development. They are asking for healthier options in vending machines. They want healthier foods at concession stands. They have asked that we stop giving them the option of choosing between corn dogs and a healthier entree, because they will choose the corn dog every time. Students are now taking on the role of educating their parents and saying "no" to the food lies that we've been taught.
Our role as the WVFEDUP leaders are to grow this movement so that more and more schools are watching this film and building it into their health curriculum. Our role is to join students with key school personnel that can help them accomplish their goals for a healthier school and community. Our role is to grow student leaders and create a legacy of health for their fellow students and the generations to come.
In just one year the WVFEDUP movement has blown our minds and far exceeded our wildest dreams for change.
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