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Children’s Health Initiative launched

The Aspen Center for New Medicine and the Aspen and Roaring Fork Valley school districts announce the Children’s Health Initiative, which kicks off Aug. 20 and 21 with two EAT (Eating disorder Action Training) workshops, at the Aspen District Theatre and Roaring Fork High School in Carbondale.

Led by Dr. Joel Jahraus, director of medicine at The Remuda Ranch Eating Disorder Treatment Program, these workshops for parents and educators will focus on how to recognize eating disorders in children and teens and how to effectively intervene and treat them.

EAT workshops are free and space is limited. To register for the Aug. 21 session in Carbondale, call Judy Haptonstall at (970) 384-6000, ext. 6002.

The Children’s Health Initiative introduces the benefits of yoga to participating children in the Aspen elementary school with the Yoga Ed. program.

The Initiative also addresses the issue of bullying in schools through The Roaring Fork Valley Bullying Program includes school assemblies, panel discussions and training institutes for teachers.

The Children’s Health Initiative has its roots in the ACNM Symposium “10×10:100 Ways To Help Our Children,” held in February, which addressed specific health issues that concern the daily lives of children. So effective were the in-school assemblies and parent/teacher trainings, the Aspen and Roaring Fork school districts requested that ACNM expand its programs to include more students, teachers and parents alike.

“These programs are `stress busters’,” says Betsy Fifield, an ACNM founding member and Children’s Health Initiative chair. “They motivate teachers, educate parents and build self esteem, focus and concentration in children and teens. These programs will promote a positive school atmosphere because meanness and bullying will be minimized, while focus and concentration will increase.”

Beginning Oct. 28, the first of three Bullying Awareness Weeks, the Roaring Fork Valley program includes several school assemblies engaging students in a discussion about the nature of bullying and how to prevent it. As a part of the Aspen Youth Center’s Education Series there will be a panel discussion for parents and teachers, with Colorado State Attorney General Ken Salazar, author SuEllen Fried and Community Matters executive director Rick Phillips. Fried also will lead a three-day training institute for teachers, counselors and social workers to provide ways to create healthy learning environments for children without the threat of bullying.

“We are very fortunate to have the Children’s Health Initiative as part of this year’s school curriculum,” says Haptonstall, the Roaring Fork School District’s assistant superintendent. “The schools want to offer students a complete, safe, enriching and progressive education, and this is the first step in the right direction.”

For more information, contact the Aspen Center for New Medicine at P.O. Box 285 Aspen, CO 81612; by phone at 920-2957; by fax at 920-3015; or visit http://www.aspennewmed.org.


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