The Granite State Fit Kids program recently reached a milestone: The number of children taught in the program has surpassed the 20,000 mark.

Since its inception in 1997, Granite State Fit Kids has taught an 20,110 kids. The program has been implemented in 46 schools throughout Southern New Hampshire and northern Massachusetts. It has been instituted in 909 classrooms in more than 18 communities.

Granite State Fit Kids is an interactive, seven-week health awareness program for kids in New Hampshire and Massachusetts. It targets the ages of 9 and 10, and is designed to teach children in the classroom about the importance of personal health, physical fitness and the benefits of good nutrition.

Fit Kids involves an array of aerobic and non-aerobic activities that promote wellness. In 2005, the program was honored as one of the top 150 programs in the country dealing with the national epidemic of childhood obesity.

The curriculum uses a variety of educational strategies, including lecture, group discussions and interactive student activities such as games and projects. Granite State Fit Kids promotes the use of the five E's — excitement, enthusiasm, energy, exercise and education.

The program was founded by Dr. Charles T. Cappetta, a pediatrician at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Nashua and adjunct associate professor of pediatrics at Dartmouth Medical School. Cappetta has been chosen by Harvard Pilgrim Health Care as one of its outstanding physicians of the year.

Granite State Fit Kids is supported by MVP Healthcare, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Nashua, St. Joseph Hospital, Southern New Hampshire Medical Center and many local school PTO groups.

For more information, contact Cappetta at 577-4400, or visit granitestatefitkids.org.

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