Contact: Joe Vargo, Perris Public Information Officer
Phone: 951-956-2120
jvargo@cityofperris.org

City Brings "Live Well" Program to Elementary Schools

Perris city staff member Michelle Ogawa discusses upcoming City programs with resident Ralph Tommarello and his daughters, Jules, 8, and Angelena, 6, during a back-to school night at the Park Avenue Elementary School campus.Perris city staff member Michelle Ogawa discusses upcoming City programs with resident Ralph Tommarello and his daughters, Jules, 8, and Angelena, 6, during a back-to school night at the Park Avenue Elementary School campus.

The City of Perris is taking its “Live Well” campaign into elementary school classrooms.

Municipal officials are teaming up with the Perris Elementary School District in their “Live Well Perris” initiative, which emphasizes healthy living through better eating and physical exertion.

Staff members attended back-to-school nights at several elementary campuses in the last week, handing out information about the ongoing Live Well initiative and encouraging them to participate in some of its specific activities. Those include a free “boot camp” at 9 a.m. at Mercado Park at 10th and D streets on Saturday, Sept. 14 for those residents interested in toning up. Several personal trainers will be at the park to put participants through a series of calorie-consuming workout stations.

Other upcoming events include a weekly Saturday farmers market at Mercado Park, a Sept. 21 basketball camp at City Hall and the Oct. 19 history walk down D Street.

Vince Ponce, superintendent of the Perris Elementary School District, said he is delighted to partner with the City on a program to spread the benefits of healthy eating and active living. The weekly farmers market provides residents the chance to purchase healthy fruits and vegetables instead of processed foods and high-calories drinks.

“Live Well Perris is a great initiative and we are so pleased to partner with the City to encourage a healthy lifestyle,” Ponce said. “Live Well Perris is catching on. People are talking about it. Our staff is talking about it. People are talking about making smarter choices about the food they eat.”

Ponce said the school district already stresses healthy eating. Students in kindergarten are making their own salads for lunch.

“They’re getting engaged,” he said.

City representatives visited Park Avenue, Railway and Good Hope elementary schools promoting the Live Well Perris campaign. Park Avenue principal Eric Rivera said part of the school’s focus in 2013 is to get the campus involved in the community. Such involvement could include field trips to City venues and volunteering at events to learn more about Perris activities and to earn required community-service hours.

Rivera heartily endorsed the Live Well campaign.

“Being healthy makes you more attentive and ready to learn,” he said.

Ralph Tommarello was among the Park Avenue Elementary School parents attending the recent back-to-school night. He came with daughters Jules, 8, and Angelena, 6. His family is all about healthy eating, said Tommorello, who feeds the youngsters healthy doses of broccoli, green beans and baked chicken.

“Fast foods in the microwave are a no-no,” he said.

Tommarello said he’s grateful that Perris is getting the word out to eat healthy. It’s a message people need to hear.
“It’s easier too often to feed kids the wrong kinds of food,” he said. “The eat-healthy message is great.”

Leo Nunez attended opening night at Railway Elementary School  with daughter, Valeria, Natalia and Myra. The family is new to Perris and he is looking to get the youngsters involved in positive activities. He thanked Perris officials for their commitment to City residents.

“They’re proactive,” he said. “That’s something that is really, really nice.”

Kenneice Humphrey said she wants to enroll her son, Damarion Trent, in the Sep. 21 basketball clinic at Bob Glass Gym. She played the game herself while growing up on military bases in Washington and Germany.  She’s grateful the City is putting on the skills clinic at no cost to participants.

“I love Perris,” Humphrey said. “It’s a good place to be.”