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Student government event gives boost to after-school enrichment program

An annual fundraiser for the AU/UGA Medical Partnership will also benefit a unique after-school program that links physical activity to learning.

The Wine and Cheese Benefit, hosted by the medical school's class of 2018, will give 60 percent of its proceeds to the UGA Physical Activity and Learning program, a research project now underway through the College of Education's department of kinesiology. Researchers Phillip Tomporowski and Bryan McCullick are studying the link between physical activity and how children learn, and pilot programs are now in place at two Clarke County elementary schools.

"We believe the PAL program provides a unique opportunity to address the health and education needs of our community and the state of Georgia," said Tomporowsi, noting that the program has its roots in a decade-long collaborative research study by AU.

While the program is funded by a 21st Century Community Learning Centers grant from the U.S. Department of Education, there are a number of costs that aren't covered, he added, and any money raised will go toward paying for substitute teachers when staff members are absent, field trips, and promotional and other materials.

Kayla Perry, a AU/UGA Medical Partnership student who is helping to organize the event, said the PAL program fits nicely with the goals of many students in the class of 2018.

"The class of 2018 is passionate about promoting physical activity as a way to prevent chronic health conditions, and also supporting the PAL program through our annual event," she said. "Many of my classmates are interested in volunteer opportunities with the PAL program as well."

The Wine and Cheese Benefit is 6-8 p.m. Feb. 24 at Ciné in downtown Athens. To purchase tickets, visit wineandcheese.eventbrite.com.

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A video of the PAL program can be found at http://youtu.be/9VVWxCvp7zA