Over 620,000 students from 600 schools commit to 30 minutes of activity for 30 days for Dubai Fitness Challenge

(MENAFN – Emirates News Agency (WAM)) DUBAI, 21st November, 2020 (WAM) — Recognising the integral role that schools play in instilling fitness-focused habits in the country’s youth, Dubai Fitness Challenge, DFC, 2020 is ensuring that more than 620,000 students across 600 schools adopt healthier and happier lifestyles for 30 minutes for 30 days.

The fitness programme of free events, sports activities and family-friendly virtual sessions will continue throughout the month, while a new robust library of free online resources for parents and teachers will further, enable them to motivate children to get fit while having fun. Exciting activity calendars can be downloaded for free on the DFC website, catering to various learning models with over 80 fitness and wellbeing-focused activity templates and games for children aged two to 16 years. For an extra boost at home, kids can also join their beloved superheroes and cartoon characters in online workouts, wellness and dance sessions for free, easy-to-follow exercises and routines.

Dr. Abdulla Al Karam, Chairman of the Board of Directors and Director-General of the Knowledge and Human Development Authority, KHDA, commented, “More than any other time, this year has shown us how important it is to be fit and healthy; to have fun and to spend time with friends and family. The Dubai Fitness Challenge brings all these values together. It’s been great to see so many schools and families get together online to build on existing fitness habits and to start new ones. We are grateful to the team at Dubai Tourism for bringing us all together and for giving us a challenge we can all rise to.”

Ahmed Al Khaja, CEO of Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment, DFRE, commented, “For children and young people, the importance of physical activity can never be understated. Now, more than ever, sports, exercise and wellness activities are crucial to inspiring sustained shifts towards more active routines for children.”

Little ones can choose from an incredible range of free workouts that the whole family will love – be it exclusive workout videos from PJ Masks that are released each week throughout DFC; fun workouts with all the favourite characters from IMG Worlds Of Adventure; Les Mills Born To Move music workouts; FIFA and EA workouts, with drills and tricks by Kotaro Tokuda – the youngest freestyle football champion; or special song routines with Papa Smurfs, Brainy Smurf, Smurfette and Vanity Smurf at Motiongate Dubai.

To make 30 minutes of daily exercise fun for the whole family, DFC’s flagship Fitness Villages also promise something for everyone. You can head down to the Mai Dubai Fitness Village Festival City Mall and experience bag jumps, quick flights and the region’s largest mobile pump track at The Arch. Go to the DP World Fitness Village Kite Beach and try out trampoline workouts at Fitbit Rebounder; boot camps, dance classes and functional training at the Teen Fit area; or monkey bars and climbing challenges at the Kids Camp. Enjoy a day out at the park with the Emirates NBD

Read More

620,000 students accept Dubai Fitness Challenge – News

Children aged between 2 and 16 years can access over 80 free games and educational activities

More than 620,000 students from 600 schools in the UAE have taken on the Dubai Fitness Challenge (DFC), organisers announced on Saturday. The DFC, which began on October 30, requires participants to commit to 30 minutes of physical activity for 30 days.

Children aged between 2 and 16 years can access over 80 free games and educational activities to take part in the challenge at home or in their classrooms. Free online resources for parents and teachers are available on

Children can “join their beloved superheroes and cartoon characters in online workouts, wellness and dance sessions for free, easy-to-follow exercises and routines”, according to organisers.

Dr Abdulla Al Karam, Chairman of the Board of Directors and Director-General of the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA), said: “More than any other time, this year has shown us how important it is to be fit and healthy; to have fun, and to spend time with friends and family. The DFC brings all these values together. It’s been great to see so many schools and families get together online to build on existing fitness habits, and to start new ones.”

Ahmed Al Khaja, CEO of Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment (DFRE), said sports, exercise and wellness activities are “crucial” for children. “The DFC is an opportunity for parents, teachers and educators across the city to inspire the youth to achieve the maximum possible benefit from their stay at home and make fitness an even more enjoyable part of their everyday lives.

“Schools are often the first forums that guide children’s interaction with fitness. This understanding drives our motivation to ensure DFC’s robust school and family fitness programme creates a safe environment for children of all ages and abilities. It encourages a lifelong focus on health and wellbeing with meaningful and enjoyable experiences, while adding fun and excitement to their distance learning,” said Al Khaja.

What’s on offer?

Online virtual workouts, wellness and dance sessions are available on

>> Workout videos from PJ Masks that are released each week throughout DFC

>> Fun workouts with characters from IMG Worlds Of Adventure

>> Les Mills Born To Move music workouts

>> FIFA and EA workouts, with drills and tricks by Kotaro Tokuda – the youngest freestyle football champion

>> Special song routines with Papa Smurfs, Brainy Smurf, Smurfette and Vanity Smurf at MotiongateT Dubai.

[email protected]

Staff Reporter

Source Article

Read More

Stanford Medicine students provide flu shots to help stave off ‘twindemic’ | News Center

Sporting scrubs, gloves, a surgical mask and a face shield, Sofia Georghiou sat under a canopy on a lawn near Stanford Hospital. The first-year student in physician assistant studies was ready to protect the Stanford community against the flu. 

While the country waits for a coronavirus vaccine to arrive, administering flu shots will reduce the number of people who become sick with influenza. And fewer flu patients will lessen the burden on hospitals caring for people stricken by the coronavirus. 

“We’re doing what we can to protect people during COVID-19,” Georghiou said. 

Like many first-year medical and physician assistant students at the Stanford School of Medicine, Georghiou is a member of Flu Crew, a student-run organization. Every fall, Flu Crew vaccinates Stanford students, staff and faculty, as well as people outside the university community who lack access to health care, such as farmworkers and homeless people. 

The shots are free.

Inoculating oranges, one another

Flu Crew members spend a day being trained to administer the vaccine: They learn about the influenza virus, observe a shot being given and practice sticking needles into oranges. Once they’ve mastered inoculating fruit, they vaccinate one another. Then, they’re ready: The students are permitted to give the shots as long as a physician is present to supervise.

This fall, besides running on-campus clinics, they vaccinated workers at a mushroom farm, as well as churchgoers, library visitors and Salvation Army customers. 

“At your first vaccination event, the hardest part is overcoming your nerves,” Georghiou said. 

“But once you get over that, you don’t think about it anymore,” added her classmate, Monica Lanning, who sat across a table from Georghiou. “It’s cool. We already feel like experts in one skill.”

Source Article

Read More

Students reaping rewards in rural medicine

Two new medical students at Queens General Hospital in Liverpool are getting first-hand experience in rural medicine.

Ben DuPlessis and Marrissa Ley are part of the 48-week South Shore Longitudinal Integrated Clerkship Dalhousie (LCID) program, which is designed to introduce students to practising medicine in a rural community.

The program was initiated at the Dalhousie’s New Brunswick campus. It was introduced to Nova Scotia last year when four students took part in hospitals in North Sydney and New Waterford.

DuPlessis and Ley are two of five students who are working on the South Shore this year as part of the program. Two other students in the program are working at the South Shore Regional Hospital in Bridgewater, while another student is at the Fishermen’s Memorial Hospital in Lunenburg.

The Doctor of Medicine or MD program at Dalhousie lasts four years, followed by two or more years of residency. The LCID program is an alternative to classic studies that see students rotate through various disciplines and in various blocks of times.

“I’m liking it. We had an option of doing this program or stay at a place for a few weeks, then move on to another place for a few weeks and probably not see the same people again. I thought it would be nice to settle in one place for a year and get to know some people,” said DuPlessis, who is from Dartmouth.

“There is a much higher chance, this way, that I will see some patients again and again over the year, and I’ll work with the same docs and really get to know them and their style and the different things they bring to medicine.”

Typically students don’t learn a lot about rural medicine in their first two years of schooling, while this program provides an opportunity to learn more, said DuPlessis.

He’s finding the experience inspiring.

“I can see myself settling down in a smaller place for sure. I definitely didn’t use to think like that, but I am more interested in it now, more than ever. I used to be more interested in procedures, the surgical side of things, but this is great,” he said. “I’ve gotten a sense that doctors really know their patients and I like that.”

The student also remarked on the camaraderie among staff.

“The doctors have all been fantastic. They all seem very close to each other, which is nice. Actually, all the staff are really close, cordial and friendly, and it’s been really easy to get to know people,” said DuPlessis, adding that the patients that he has talked to have also been very good to him.

When he gets some spare time, DuPlessis is looking forward to heading out on the trails with his partner and dogs, visiting the beaches, and doing a little surfing.

Hailing from Glace Bay, Ley also is enjoying the community and being closer to nature, as well as spending time with family doctors and physicians and experiencing their day-to-day routines.

She’s spoken with

Read More

GW University Tells Students: Buy a Week of Food and Medicine to Prep for Election Chaos

An email sent to George Washington University Students Friday suggested students prep for election week the way they would a hurricane or snowstorm. “Before Tuesday, we recommend you have at least one week of food, supplies, and medicine for your room,” the email says.

Large numbers of protesters and demonstrators are expected in the District this week, including thousands tonight at Black Lives Matter Plaza. Currently, DC officials say they’re not aware of any credible threats of violence in the District, and that while parking will be restricted downtown tonight and tomorrow, they haven’t called up the National Guard or recommended businesses board up.

Many businesses have still decided to take extra precautions by boarding up or closing, and it seems individual Washingtonians have done the same — some local supermarkets have been depleted of food staples like meat and eggs.

Jane Recker

Assistant Editor

Jane is a Chicago transplant who now calls Cleveland Park her home. Before joining Washingtonian, she wrote for Smithsonian Magazine and the Chicago Sun-Times. She is a graduate of Northwestern University, where she studied journalism and opera.

Source Article

Read More

Florida parents sue school board over mandate that requires students to wear masks

A group of parents in Florida is suing the Sarasota County school board for requiring students to wear face masks, which are recommended by federal health officials to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

The suit was filed last week in a Sarasota County court by parents Amy Cook, Gustavo Collazo, Nicholas Eastman, and Catherine Gonzales after the school board approved an emergency 90-day mask mandate that extends its policy through to the end of the year.

The policy requires students attending in-person class to wear masks, with a few exceptions, for most of the school day, according to the Sarasota Herald-Tribune.

The parents argue in the suit that forcing children to wear masks at school denies them their right to an equal education.

“The policy of mandatory facemask wear for students of tender years leaves parents with little choice: subject their children to a policy that is not in the best interest of the child, or to be compelled to home school their children in a manner that is both separate, and unequal, and also results in additional harms unrelated to COVID-19.”

The 59-page complaint cites the Florida constitution as its reasoning as to why students shouldn’t be forced to wear masks. It also goes on to say that parents should be the ones making decisions for their children, not the school board.

Caroline Zucker, the school board chair, declined to comment on the lawsuit. Shirley Brown, the vice-chair of the Sarasota County School Board, said they are following guidelines by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“The mask isn’t so much to protect you, as to protect others from you,” she said in a phone interview Friday. “The masks, I think, are helping us keep our numbers down in the schools. It can’t just be optional.”

Brown also said that the mask requirement is just one of the steps the district is taking to prevent a potential outbreak. There are no assemblies at the schools and the number of visitors is limited.

“The bottom line is that the CDC says that the sooner we comply, the sooner we defeat this,” she said.

An attorney for the parents could not immediately be reached.

Collazo and Cook said in sworn affidavits that they have three children enrolled in the school district who have “severe” allergies and said that wearing a mask worsens their conditions.

“As parents, we should be able to decide what is in our children’s best interest when it comes to making medical decisions, and being compelled to wear a facemask is not in our children’s best physical and psychological interests,” Collazo and Cook said.

Eastman, who has one child in the district, and Gonzales, who has two, both said in their affidavits that the school board’s policy interferes with their parental rights and decision-making ability.

Source Article

Read More

VIDA Fitness Partners with the National Academy of Sports Medicine to Offer 20 Scholarships for Black Students Seeking Careers as Personal Trainers


VIDA Fitness is launching the Personal Training & Scholarship Mentorship Program in partnership with National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM). The purpose of the program is to create more opportunities for Black aspiring personal trainers to have access to the certification program, textbooks, and mentorship necessary to launch a successful career in Washington, DC, Maryland, and Virginia.

“We want to bring more diversity into the fitness industry,” said David von Storch, President and Founder of VIDA Fitness. “This program will be a launchpad for individuals who are looking for ways to start successful careers. It will also help us meet hardworking, innovative Black trainers who may become future team members in the fitness industry.”

VIDA encourages Black students, returning citizens, fitness freelancers, and anyone who has demonstrated dedication, experience, and interest in pursuing a career in health and fitness to apply.

VIDA has appointed a Diversity & Inclusion Board that will review and interview the applications on a rolling basis. Over the next 6 – 12 months, twenty scholarship recipients will enter NASM’s Personal Training program, which is the fitness industry’s most respected certification. Upon successful completion of the NASM program and the certification exam, graduates will be invited to VIDA for a personal training mentorship.

“Our community of fitness professionals is strengthened by its diversity and its ongoing commitment to continuing education,” said Laurie McCartney, President of NASM. “We are proud to partner with VIDA Fitness on this very important initiative that will truly transform lives.”

VIDA Fitness will review applications on a monthly basis. For details about eligibility requirements and the application process,

About VIDA Fitness: With 6 uniquely designed and thoughtfully laid out locations in downtown Washington, DC and Arlington, VA, VIDA Fitness provides industry-leading facilities and programming, all powered by the best fitness professionals to support you in achieving your goals, and creating a community where people of shared values can make meaningful personal connections.

About NASM: Now in its 33rd year, the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) has remained the international standard in fitness education due to the high quality of fitness professionals they produce and the scientific rigor of their programs. NASM offers a best in class Certified Personal Training program along with major specializations in Nutrition Coaching (CNC), Sports Performance (PES), and Corrective Exercise (CES).

View source version on

CONTACT: Alyson Campbell

Heart & Soul PR for NASM




SOURCE: National Academy of Sports Medicine

Copyright Business Wire 2020.

PUB: 10/26/2020 09:00 AM/DISC: 10/26/2020 09:02 AM

Source Article

Read More

Fort Bend ISD’s complex scheduling process weakens mental health support for students, officials say

Fort Bend ISD officials say using separate schedules for virtual and on-campus classes offer increased learning opportunities that allow online students to return to campus for band or football and other extracurricular classes.

However, maintaining the complicated system means campus counselors now spend all their time “hand scheduling” classes for the district’s more than 76,000 students. That leaves teachers as the sole mental health support for students, administrators said during a school board meeting Monday, Oct. 19.

When questioned as to what kind of mental health support was available for teachers facing an exponential increase in their work load and stress level, administrators recommended deep-breathing exercises, among other things.

“We have wellness moments that we use to open every meeting,” Assistant Superintendent Diana Sayavedra said. “We employ breathing exercises. We communicate the importance of self-wellness and finding the balance between work and home and our ‘Live Well’ (cell phone) app constantly sends reminders and updates to our employees about was they can do to reduce stress.”

One trustee spoke up to question the approach.

“Not to discount breathing, but it reminds me of what they told me when I was in labor, ‘Just breathe through it,’” trustee Kristin Tassin said. “And that doesn’t always cut it.”

Sayavedra said she and other administrators are also currently evaluating ways to possibly offload some teacher duties to other district staffers in the future.

Trustee Grayle James said she had received a lot of messages from teachers who were feeling overwhelmed and asked if a schedule change to allow teachers some extra down time was a possibility.

Superintendent Charles Dupre said he and his staff would consider it, adding he’d also heard from many teachers struggling with stress and anxiety.

“My consistent message to teachers is to ask the teachers to give themselves grace,” Dupre said. “Because when I talk to teachers and I get the largest outcry from teachers, it’s often teachers who’ve set a very high bar for themselves that they’re unwilling to lower.”

The decision to implement separate schedules for on-campus classes and virtual learning continued to be a source of concern for administrators and trustees during Monday’s meeting. The process requires campus counselors to evaluate each student’s schedule individually and resolve various conflicts between the dual scheduling system such as monitoring class sizes and making adjustments for students with overlapping classes.

The process has been so time-consuming campus counselors have no time for their regular mental health support duties, leaving teachers as the sole support for students. The scheduling process is expected to continue to drain resources from mental health support systems in the coming months as new schedules are drawn for the upcoming semester, according to Pilar Westbrook, who serves as Fort Bend ISD’s Executive Director of Social Emotional Learning and Comprehensive Health.

“We know that our counselors are our tier-one for mental health support, but we won’t acknowledge the fact that they have been inundated with

Read More

There are enough homeless students in California to fill Dodger Stadium 5 times, study says

There were 269,269 K-12 students experiencing homelessness in California at the end of the 2018-2019 school year, according to a new study from UCLA. That’s enough students to fill the entire Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles about five times.

The report, released Wednesday by UCLA’s Center for the Transformation of Schools, found the number of homeless students has risen by 50% in the last 10 years. With the number of homeless students surpassing 269,000, researchers hope the report will highlight the inadequacy of current programs for homeless youth and emphasize additional funding for programs and new policies on both the federal and state level. 

“Dodger Stadium is empty these days but can hold some 56,000 people for a big game. California could fill the stadium with students experiencing homelessness almost five times and still probably need to use the parking lot for overflow,” the study’s lead author, Joseph Bishop, said in a statement.”But our students are not in Dodger Stadium. We are talking about young people who may be sleeping on the streets, in cars, or in shelters. This is a crisis that deserves immediate action.”

The report also shines a light on cracks within federal laws such as the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act, which provides funding for homeless shelters. Researchers found that only 106 of 1,037 school districts in California received funding from the law and two out of three homeless students do not attend schools that receive funds. 

The authors of the report said the coronavirus pandemic is likely to bring more hardships for students and families experiencing homelessness. The UCLA report found that students experiencing homelessness were disproportionately Black and Latinx, making up 9% and 70% percent of students respectively.

“Homelessness impacts Latinx and Black students most with real and negative consequences,” said Lorena Camargo Gonzalez, a UCLA researcher and co-author of the report. “The prevalence of Latinx and Black youth experiencing homelessness requires more racially and culturally responsive strategies in education practice and policy.”

With this data, researchers hope to bridge the gap between available federal and state programs and students who have yet to receive aid. As homeless and housing instability has been proven to contribute to low attendance, poor grades, absentee rates, and graduation percentages, researchers hope the report can encourage schools to prioritize their at-risk students while still providing them with the learning experience they need to thrive.

“Even in these tense and difficult times, the large and growing number of students experiencing homelessness in our state is a crisis that should shock all of us,” said Tyrone Howard, faculty director of the school.  “We hope this report will create greater awareness of student homelessness, the racial disparities that exist with students experiencing homelessness, and provide policymakers with meaningful insight and information. Aggressive, immediate and effective action is needed by leaders at every level of government and in our community to dismantle this unacceptable crisis.”

Source Article

Read More

Program Nationally Recognized for Bringing American Indian Students to Careers in Science and Medicine

Media Contacts

Julie Kiefer

Associate Director, Science Communications, University of Utah Health
Email: [email protected]
Phone: 801-587-1293

Oct 21, 2020 10:00 PM

NARI 2019

A University of Utah Health Department of Pediatrics program that supports academic, career, and personal development of American Indian / Alaska Native (AI/AN) undergraduates from across the country has received recognition from the National Indian Health Board. The National Impact Award honors individuals and organizations whose work has made an impact on AI/AN health care on a national level. The Native American Research Internship (NARI) program was one of six recipients to receive the prestigious honor this year.

This award elevates the visibility of American Indian health care issues in the state of Utah and across the country,” says Scott Willie, NARI alumni and program coordinator. “NARI represents a small piece in the circle that has significantly increased the awareness of the need for more AI/AN researchers and health care providers. This award signifies the hope and prayers that our ancestors had for the future health and wellness of our communities.

Launched in 2010, NARI was built on the guiding principal that eliminating health disparities hinges on recruitment, education, and training of the most talented scientists in the US. The program accomplishes this goal by providing hands-on research experience with University of Utah faculty and intensive mentoring to American Indian students who are interested in health science careers. The National Institutes of Health-funded program brings students to the U from around the country for 10 weeks each summer.

““The fires ignited here can bring light to our tribes for generations.”

Unique to the program is the mentoring support provided to students as many navigate the world of biomedical research for the first time. Students meet with academic mentors about research in addition to mentors from the larger regional AI/AN community, who help them integrate their identity inside and outside of the research environment. In weekly talking circles, interns learn from one another as they discuss challenges and shared experiences. NARI students credit the personalized approach for making all the difference.

“…Even more important than the networking this program has provided is the great job it has done in fostering and strengthening our self-identity as future physicians,” one participant said in a survey. “The fires ignited here can bring light to our tribes for generation.

Gloria Slattum, PhD, Maija Holsti, MD, Scott Willie

In its ten years, NARI has been a resounding success, with 128 participants representing 46 different tribal nations and 57 colleges and universities completing the internship. Of those, none have dropped out of college; so far, 53% have gone on to either medical or graduate school and 28% are employed in biomedical research. In addition, all students surveyed last year reported improvements in research skills, oral and written presentations, and knowledge of health disparities within AI/AN communities.

“I am most proud of the resilience, perseverance, and wonderful accomplishments of our NARI students,” says Maija Holsti, M.D., NARI director. “The NARI program hopes to continue to

Read More