Reading and good health go hand-in-hand at book day for kids

Fort Bend Independent School District board member Addie Heyliger recently celebrated her birthday by hosting a Book Day at Armstrong Elementary School. Addie’s passion for reading, along with setting a positive example for her students, made it an easy decision to host this second annual event – this time with a healthy twist.

Sixty volunteers read books centered around healthy eating and nutrition to more than 600 children.

“I thought it would be fun to add a theme to this year’s Book Day,” Addie said. “I wanted to focus on wellness because it’s so important for our kids to learn about healthy living habits.”

In addition to donating books about health and wellness to the school library, UnitedHealthcare’s mascot Dr. Health E. Hound attended the event and helped act out a story by demonstrating physical activity movements and leading a dance party for the children.

“This is a great example of how an annual event can take on a new healthy purpose to benefit the community,” said Stephanie Kellam, UnitedHealthcare of Texas director of wellness and community engagement. “Book Day provided a unique way for children to learn about the importance of healthy living and get excited to take part in physical activities with their peers.”

Motivating children to learn about lifestyle choices at an early age helps set a precedent. Research shows that access to developmental opportunities at a young age may have a lasting impact on their health as adults.

“By making these decisions now,” Kellam said, “These kids are more likely to grow up to lead healthier, happier and longer lives.”

In addition to UnitedHealthcare, supporters of the event included supermarket chain H-E-B, Scholastic, Fort Bend County Libraries, FBISD Child Nutrition, Methodist and First United Methodist Church.

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