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Cenla Youth Summit

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ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB News Channel 5)- Healthy eating, physical activity, and tobacco prevention. These are just some of the topics discussed at a gathering of students here in Cenla on Tuesday. News Channel 5's Rachael Penton has the details on the '2013 Youth Summit on Healthy Behaviors.'

The chairs were full of students Tuesday at the Alexandria Riverfront Center, as more than 300 students and teachers gathered for the Youth Summit on Healthy Behaviors.

"Look at the state we're in physically across the nation. This is important because this is going to save our kids. This is going to help get them to be healthier," says organizer Elizabeth Sylvest.

For the third year in a row, the Central Louisiana Area Health Education Center has hosted the program, with funding from The Rapides Foundation.

Which aims to promote an all-around healthy lifestyle for kids in Cenla.

"It's important to involve fitness, health, and tobacco-free because many diseases come from not being healthy, from using tobacco, and from not exercising so we try to incorporate that," says youth staff member Christina Rubio.

The kids listen to guest speakers, watch videos, and participate in fun activities- like "hooper-cising"- all in the name of getting healthy.

"There's so many influences out in the world. We teach them to stay away and that it is a lot healthier and safer and cooler," says youth staff member Trent Williams.

Organizers hope that the kids will take what they learn from the one day event and spread it throughout their communities.

"I think it's very beneficial for ourselves and for others because if we know then we can tell others and we can get everyone excited about it," says Kimberly Robertson, a student from Leesville attending the program.

So that kids and teens can grow into healthy adults, for a healthy Cenla.

"It's going to change lives. Ultimately that's what we're about it changing lives in any capacity that we can. This is in a healthy way," adds Sylvest.

This year's summit featured a closing presentation by Kellie Mcquinn- a motivational speaker on obesity prevention.

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