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How video games are helping kids get fit

Duncan_This is the time of year that it's hard to watch your calorie intake.  First there's Halloween, then Thanksgiving and Christmas.  But, students at Mark Twain Elementary School won't have to worry so much about exercise because they've received a Healthy Lifestyles Grant from the state.

7News checked out a Duncan elementary P.E. class and discovered how video games can actually be healthy for youngsters.  Times are changing and teachers have to adapt so, they're using video games that have you moving, dancing and working up a sweat.

Monica Smith teaches Physical Education at Mark Twain and submitted the school for the Healthy Lifestyles Grant - they were one of only eleven schools chosen this year.  With this grant money she was able to get Playstation 2 equipment along with a Nintendo Wii.

Now, with this new hi tech equipment these kids are having fun and are in their element.  "We have our kids moving all the time, they're moving - sweating," says Smith.  She wanted to make sure that what she chose for the kids could be affordable for them to purchase with their family to involve them, too.  And they're doing just that.  "We have parents come out and play.  They catch me at WalMart and tell me how wonderful this is and their kids want to play," she says.

7News caught some fourth graders waiting in line to play - they look forward to P.E. every day.  "It's really healthy because you get to move a lot, you get to do sports with the TV," says Alexandra Matthews.  And, probably one of the most popular is Dance Dance Revolution.  "Because you have to dance to the beat and do the buttons to it," says Allie Jackson.  The kids at school aren't the only ones enjoying it, either - we even caught the school's counselor and principal joining in the fun.

Smith says "Schools for Healthy Lifestyles" has been around for ten years, but only in the Oklahoma City area.  Now, it's open and anyone across the state can apply.  "We're looking for ways [to get funding].  Our budgets don't allow us to change much," says Smith.  "It's [usually] slowly but surely and this lets us change quickly... from having a little to having a lot.  I encourage all of them to apply, because you can get it." 

For more information about how your school can apply for this grant check out http://www.healthyschoolsok.org.

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