Ti students rock to fitness

TICONDEROGA - Are you ready to rock?

Ticonderoga Elementary School students certainly were as they welcomed "rock star nutritionist" Jill Jayne recently.

Jayne delivered a message on healthy diet through a high-energy rock concert that had students dancing and clapping throughout.

"Music incites movement," Jayne said. "The songs from the Jump with Jill show and the show's soundtrack CD, Get Me Goin', are an innovative way to teach kids about healthy eating and exercise while movin' their bodies. I appeal to parents and educators because I'm a registered dietitian; I appeal to kids 'cuz I rock."

Michelle Eicher, a physical education teacher at Ti Elementary School, arranged the concert.

"I saw her a year ago at a conference and thought she was wonderful," Eicher said. "I think she offers an important message for our students."

The concert was supported financially by the Dan Padula Memorial Fund and Wal-Mart.

Billed as Jump With Jill, the concert was presented to pre-kindergarten through fifth grade students.

Jayne holds her master's degree in nutrition education from Columbia University and a bachelor's in nutrition and theater from Penn State University. Jump with Jill is a production of Note to Health, a New York City-based company specializing in age-appropriate, interactive multimedia productions designed to teach kids about health.

"Both the CD and interactive show address an urgent need to connect with kids when it comes to overall health, exercise and nutrition," Jayne said. "Nationwide, 17 percent of kids are obese and only one out of three kids meet basic fitness requirements."

Besides discussing nutrition, Jayne warned students about television commercials.

"Kids spend nearly six and a half hours per day consuming media, witnessing over 40,000 commercials per year, most of which encourage them to remain inactive and continue consuming," she said. "Jump with Jill addresses an urgent need to connect with kids in a time where advertisements for high-fat, high-sugar foods and endless opportunities to choose the couch over physical activity are at an all-time high."

Jayne is the singer-songwriter for her rock band Sunset West. Sunset West has toured and recorded in the mainstream music scene including The Vans Warped Tour and The Next Great American Band on FOX.

She was also the writer, producer and host of the nationally-syndicated children's nutrition news program What's in the News for PBS, is a DJ for Radio Disney, an off-Broadway actress and a public school teacher.

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