For the seventh grade students competing in the annual Health Bee in Westfield, there's more at stake than just bragging rights: the future health of the students may depend on how well they understand the material.
The third annual “UnitedHealthcare Health Bee” will take place from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 29, at the Westfield Area Y with 175 seventh grade students from schools in Westfield, Cranford and Garwood expected to participate. The Health Bee will test their knowledge of health and wellness with three Jeopardy-style rounds of competition in addition to 60-second pop culture quizzes.
The students who participate in the Health Bee spend after-school hours from September through mid-March preparing for the challenge. The first place team will be awarded a UnitedHealthcare HEROES grant of $1,000 for their school. The UnitedHealthcare HEROES program recognizes schools and community organizations that are doing their part to combat childhood obesity.
The Health Bee is part of the Westfield Y's fitness program for seventh grade students to help build healthy minds and bodies. Research indicates that seventh grade is a key juncture in a child's development of attitudes and behaviors, such as body image, nutrition and self esteem.
Through the program, the Westfield Area Y is helping students enhance their self esteem and increase their understanding of the importance of exercise and diet throughout their teen years and into adulthood.