Lighten Up Louisiana Kids, the state’s four-month competition encouraging physical activity and better eating habits, concluded on May 17 with a Ruston Elementary School taking the top honors.  Almost 7,600 participants on 85 teams completed the program, accumulating 3.9 million activity miles during the event.

Rudy Macklin, director of the Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports, said he was thrilled that so many of Louisiana’s kids took up the challenge to get healthy.  “It’s great to see kids being so enthusiastic about exercise and healthy living,” he said.  “The hard work and dedication these kids have put into this competition in the past four months is admirable.  Most importantly, they come away from it all with a better understanding of what it means to be physically fit.”

Of the top ten winners, five are students from Cedar Creek Elementary School in Ruston.  Macklin says the race for first place became very tight in the last couple of weeks.  Prien Lake Elementary School out of Lake Charles had been in the lead throughout most of the competition, but in the last week of the contest, Cedar Creek Elementary kicked it up a notch to take not only first place, but second, third and fourth as well.

The winners represented the following schools:

1st        Cedar Creek Elementary        Second grade – Ms. Lewis’ class                  Ruston

2nd       Cedar Creek Elementary        First grade – Ms. Adams’ class                     Ruston

3rd        Cedar Creek Elementary        First grade – Ms. Machen’s class                  Ruston

4th        Cedar Creek Elementary        Fourth grade – Ms. Robichaux’s class            Ruston

5th        Prien Lake Elementary           Prien Lake Running Club                               Lake Charles

6th        Turner Middle                         Tigers 2                                                       Shreveport

7th        Turner Middle                         Tigers                                                          Shreveport

8th        Turner Middle                         Tigers 1                                                       Shreveport

9th        Turner Middle                         Turner Middle                                               Shreveport

10th      Cedar Creek Elementary         Kindergarten – Ms. White’s class                   Ruston

“We encouraged the youth of our state to follow the example set by the immensely popular Lighten Up Louisiana Program,” said Department of Health Secretary Dr. Fred Cerise.  “I would like to congratulate all those who joined the challenge and thank the team captains who helped make the event such a success.”

The winners will be recognized in their local newspapers, and will also receive Lighten Up Louisiana Kids T-shirts and a certificate of their achievements.