More than 500 students from all of McDowell County’s public schools will come together Thursday (Oct. 23) for the Lets Move McDowell Physical Activity Celebration. Sponsored by the West Virginia University College of Physical Activity and Sport Sciences and the Highmark Foundation, students will spend the day at the Welch Armory to celebrate and demonstrate new physical activities they have learned through the McDowell CHOICES Project.

“This event is a celebration of the kids and the school leaders who have made increasing physical activity a priority! We want them to continue to be excited about physical activity! We hope to attract media attention that will highlight McDowell County Schools’ dedication to improving the health of their children,” said Eloise Elliott, a Ware Distinguished Professor at WVU and CHOICES Team leader.

The McDowell CHOICES Project provides support for every school in McDowell County to develop a comprehensive school physical activity plan and become a Lets Move Active School. It enhances the physical activity opportunities in each school through providing additional equipment, after-school programming, certified/trained community physical activity leaders, and community outreach and promotion.

“The CHOICES program has drastically improved the excitement about student physical activities. Not only has it improved the physical education classroom environment, but the after school programs have benefited as well,” said McDowell School Superintendent Nelson Spencer.

Special guests including the WVU Mountaineer, West Virginia State Superintendent of Schools Dr. Michael Martirano, President of the WV Board of Education and former First Lady Gayle Manchin, Reconnecting McDowell leader and AFT President Bob Brown, and others will be on hand to congratulate the schools, their children, and the community for their accomplishments.

“In addition to highlighting students at this fun-filled event, there will be other physical activity breaks throughout designed to get the audience up and moving. A county-wide Flash Mob will also take place at 12:15! We hope everyone will join in on the fun on the 23rd either by attending the event, or by viewing the live stream online,” said McDowell CHOICES Project Director Nathan Acosta.

The evidence-based strategies used during this project were adopted from ActiveWV 2015: The WV Physical Activity Plan and include enhancing school-based physical activity opportunities across all developmental levels and increasing family access to places and programs through policy and environmental modification.

For more information, contact Nathan Acosta at

Keep up with the event on Twitter using the hashtag #LetsMoveMcDowell or the McDowell CHOICES Facebook page to join the conversation.



CONTACT: Kimberly Cameon, College of Physical Activity and Sport Sciences

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