Changing trends with leadership

Over the past few months I have written about projects from the Leadership Shelby County 2010 class. I have written a lot about the new Mental Health Court because I was in that project group and it is a project that is dear to my heart.

I have also written about the very impressive Career Awareness Program that is moving forward in the Shelby County schools. The CAP project targets high school students that do not plan on attending college and helps them make career choices and prepare for life in the workforce after high school graduation.

This month I want to tell you about the third project of my Leadership class. Change the Trend targets a significant health problem among our youth, childhood obesity. The project group developed a nutrition curriculum that is complete and ready to be incorporated into all 10th grade health classes in the Shelby County school system this year.

In addition to written materials and other teacher aids, the group produced and is distributing an outstanding, professionally produced DVD for students and parents that explains in a very entertaining way the consequences of a nutritionally unhealthy lifestyle and suggestions for improvement.

Appearing in the video are celebrities, including the highly animated University of Alabama strength and conditioning Coach Scott Cochran (you know, he’s the guy that sounds like a drill sergeant); world famous chef Frank Stitt and many more celebrities that are recognizable by the middle school students and their parents.

This DVD is very impressive and the fact that the project group got this curriculum completely ready for incorporating into the schools this year is equally impressive.

Childhood obesity is a serious health issue with far reaching social consequences, and this Leadership group has taken a big step in helping the kids and their parents overcome this problem. This is one more example of the far-reaching impact Leadership Shelby County has on the quality of life for all of us. The 2011 class is underway; I can’t wait to see their projects next May.

Jim Fuhrmeister is the Shelby County Probate Judge.