MOSS POINT, MS (WLOX) - The teaching staff in the Moss Point School District has gotten a lot smaller over the last year, but in a good way. About 30 employees are participating in 17 week program that has them shedding pounds and developing better eating habits.
"Week one, they were a little apprehensive about getting on the scale, which everyone is. But once they got on the scale, it gave them a reality check as to what they need to do to change their behavior," Antrice Archer said.
Archer is a Weight Watchers representative. She's spent the past 15 weeks teaching the men and women to become more conscious eaters.
Each week, she has steadily seen the Moss Point employees gain energy and lose pounds. The group has collectively lost more than 400 pounds.
"Although they are a group and they are motivated by the group, they all have set goals," Archer said.
Sonya Ford is one of the shining stars of the group.
"I weighed 271 pounds," said Ford, who now weighs in at 228 pounds.
"I'm going to lose a lot more. So when this is over, I will just pick it up myself. And when school starts in August, there will be a different program to teach us how to maintain and exercise, so that will help."
Brenda Lewis is the health and wellness coordinator for the Moss Point School District. She was instrumental in getting a grant to fund the 17-week program. She said at the start of the school year, the district will implement a new program to help keep these healthy eaters on track.
"We will have education programs from fad diets, to diabetes and things along that nature that are very integral to what's taking place in the state," Lewis said.
The Weight Watchers program was funded through a grant from the Bower Foundation. Moss Point was one of ten Mississippi school districts to receive the $161,000 grant. School leaders say the money will be used to implement wellness programs over the next three years.