Christine Stuart photo
Students race to lace up their sneakers (Christine Stuart photo)

HARTFORD-Since the beginning of the school year a group of Betances Elementary School students have been showing up an hour early for some physical fitness.

Today all their running paid off when they received a $2,800 check from ING and the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials to continue their Bright Beginnings program.

Hartford Mayor Eddie Perez said Wednesday that physical fitness is especially important in the Latino community because Latinos are twice as likely to be obese. He said they also have high rates of diabetes, asthma, and heart disease. Click here for a “Latino Health in Connecticut”  report released last December by the Hispanic Health Council. Or keep reading this report to find out more about Wednesday’s event and how you can help.

“You guys have a choice whether you want to be overweight or not,” singer Jimena told the students Wednesday.

She said children on average spend 25 hours a week watching television. She urged students to entertain themselves, get outdoors more often, and make better dietary choices. 

Jimena will be in attendance this evening at the Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony concert selling orange shoe laces as part of NALEO and ING’s “Run for Something Better” charitable campaign. Betances School will receive all the money from the sales of the shoe laces tonight at the concert.

For more information about the shoe lace campaign visit