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BRG Donates New Playground Equipment to Promote Physical Activity for Kids

  • Category: In the Community
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  • Written By: Baton Rouge General

Partnership with American Heart Association provides new activities for elementary students

Baton Rouge, La. – This week, Baton Rouge General (BRG) and the Capital Area American Heart Association (AHA) donated new playground equipment to students at Bernard Terrace Elementary School. The “Recess Reboot” included 500 water bottles, 100 jump ropes, 100 basketballs, some playground balls and a $200 gift card to U.S. Games for additional supplies.

Since the 1970s, the rate of childhood obesity has more than tripled in the U.S., increasing the rate of disability and obesity in adulthood, in addition to putting children at an increased risk for diabetes and heart disease later in life. In Louisiana, more than one third of all children (34%) and adults (35.5%) are obese, one of the highest rates in the country. To combat that, the AHA recommends at least one hour of physical activity every day for children and adolescents. Unfortunately, less than half of 6-11 year olds and only 8 percent of 12-19 year olds are meeting those guidelines.

“Establishing good exercise habits as a child helps makes physical activity more likely as an adult,” said Chatisy Thomas, Nurse Practitioner with Baton Rouge General Physicians. “And by staying active, people can reduce blood pressure, control weight, reduce risk for diabetes and improve psychological well-being.”

Inactive children are more likely to become inactive adults, but studies show that schools can positively influence healthy behavior in children. Recess provides one opportunity to promote physical activity, however, only five states currently require recess in elementary schools. Louisiana is not one of them. Even so, many schools, including Bernard Terrace Elementary School, offer recess to their students.

The “Recess Reboot” program refreshes and revitalizes playgrounds by providing the equipment schools need for physical education activities and by encouraging kids to get active.

“This new equipment will be a great fit for my students,” said Coach Alicia Johnson, Health and Physical Education teacher at Bernard Terrace Elementary. “The more fun we can make exercise for kids, the more likely they are to continue the habit as adults.”

Bernard Terrace faculty and kids

Bernard Terrace faculty, Baton Rouge General Nurse Practitioner and American Heart Association staff celebrate new playground equipment with students at Bernard Terrace Elementary: Joshua Warren, Bernard Terrace Dean of Students; Chatisy Thomas, Baton Rouge General Physicians Nurse Practitioner; Demetric Alexander, Bernard Terrace Principal; Bernard Terrace students Greggory Kinchen; Ron'nea Dorsey; Alexandra Boyd; Lizzie Wallace; Alicia Johnson, Bernard Terrace P.E. Teacher; Bernard Terrace students Madison Jackson; Charleigh Grayson; Keyanni Belona; Jeremiah Owens; Oscar Egedahl; Krystian Richardson; Aamilah Williams; Cori Davis; Chelsea Moreau, American Heart Association Capital Area Go Red for Women Director; and Leslie Dozier, American Heart Association Capital Area Heart Walk Director.

woman speaking on stage

Baton Rouge General Physicians Nurse Practitioner Chatisy Thomas speaks to Bernard Terrace Elementary School students about the importance of exercise. BRG partnered with the American Heart Association to donate playground equipment to Bernard Terrace.

About Baton Rouge General Medical Center
Baton Rouge General Medical Center is the area’s first community hospital with 588 licensed beds between two campuses. Baton Rouge General opened its doors in 1900, and has provided the Greater Baton Rouge community with high-quality healthcare for generations. Established in 1970, Baton Rouge General's Regional Burn Center is one of only 125 burn centers in the U.S. verified by the American Burn Association and plays an integral role in supporting other Gulf Coast states when the need arises. Baton Rouge General has been an accredited teaching hospital since 1991, with medical education programs including a School of Nursing, School of Radiologic Technology, Family Medicine Residency Program, Internal Medicine Residency Program, and Sports Medicine Fellowship Program. For more information, visit, find us on Facebook at and follow us on Twitter at @BRGeneral.

About the American Heart Association

The American Heart Association is devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke – America’s No. 1 and No. 5 killers. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies, and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The American Heart Association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-800-AHA-USA1, visit