A new after-school program at Cullen Middle School is helping students learn about healthy food
choices and increase their daily amount of physical activity. FOCUSED (Facilitators Of Change for Unique
Students Through Exercise and Diet) started classes in September and is free for up to 50 Cullen Middle
School scholars. On Monday through Thursday of each week after school, students spend one hour on
physical activities such as cardio training, muscle strengthening, and other fitness programs, followed by
30 minutes of education and information about healthy eating and nutrition.
The program is funded by a grant from Harris County Hospital District Foundation Children’s Health
Fund, whose mission is to enhance the behavioral and physical health of children from disadvantaged
backgrounds. Recent research revealed that nearly 40 percent of children who live in OST/South Union
are overweight or obese and nearly 80 percent don’t engage in the recommended amount of physical
activity each day.
Wythel Rogers, project manager of FOCUSED and former GO Neighborhood UH Graduate College of
Social Work intern and Cullen parent, is pleased with the progress of students who participate in the
program and says, “I can already see the difference it makes when we empower kids to improve their
own physical and behavioral health by using positive affirmations instead of negative put-downs. Small
changes like that can end up making a big difference in a child’s life.”
The FOCUSED program has a few openings remaining for current Cullen Middle School students. For
information about how to register, contact Wythel Rogers at 832-919-6508 or firstname.lastname@example.org.