| Neighborhoods

Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Jeannette student to be featured on Excela billboard

Juccora Barton celebrates winning the essay contest with her parents, Bob and Lola Barton, and Jen Miele of Excela Health.

Email Newsletters

Sign up for one of our email newsletters.


Hey you! Yes, you.

Why are you sitting here eating chips and listening to your Nook?

I finally realized what I was doing wrong. I needed to change. Thinking about what my mom was always saying about healthy eating and exercising, I decided this was a good place to start.

Instead of chips and other junk foods, I was going to make better choices which would be fruits and vegetables. At meal time, I would do better portions and try to cut down on snacking in between. I will stay away from sugary and unhealthy drinks and start drinking more water.

It's also important to wash the tops of cans, e.g. green beans and carrots, before opening them. While these are in the warehouse and store, bugs and rats climb on them and put feces on them. Always wash raw foods because of germs. Also, animals walk all over them.

When thawing foods, don't thaw them out in the sink. Only thaw foods out in the refrigerator, but don't thaw above other foods. Plus, make sure the fridge is at the right temperature. Don't leave leftover food out for over two hours.

Instead of sitting and listening to my Nook, I will walk and listen to my Nook. Move more. Good idea.

Other things I could do is go riding my bike and play basketball and maybe even get my friends to join.

Also, I would keep up on my hygiene by brushing my teeth, taking showers, keep my nails clean, wear clean clothes, washing my hair and doing my hair.

Please be alert to never use others' combs or brushes, because that's an easy way to get lice. Lice isn't something anyone wants to deal with.

Make sure you see a doctor once a year for your yearly check up. Go to the dentist every six months, but if you can't go every six months try to go two times a year.

Written by Juccora Barton, an eighth-grader at Jeannette McKee Middle School.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

Beginning this month, a Jeannette student will be featured on a billboard touting healthy habits and she's happy to pass along her advice and healthy tips.

Juccora Barton, an eighth-grader at Jeannette McKee Middle School, is one of 10 area middle school students who won an essay contest sponsored by Excela Health.

“I exercise, drink a lot of water, play sports,” Barton said. “My picture will be on a billboard. I'm excited. It's sort of weird. It will be on a billboard near Pitzer's (Townhouse) this month.”

The essay contest winners will be spotlighted on billboards around Westmoreland County during May and June for their commitment to habits that contribute to a long and disease-free life. They were selected from hundreds of entries submitted during the April contest period.

“Good health is habit forming, but healthy habits must be cultivated at an early age to ensure lasting results,” said Jennifer Miele, Excela Health vice president of marketing and communications.

Barton said her mother helped her to write her essay and helped her to form healthy habits in the first place.

“It's an everyday thing,” said Barton. “It's important to have healthy habits.”She said her mother raised her to practice a healthy lifestyle “so that you can stay fit and be active.”

Barton, daughter of Bob Barton and Lola Barton, is one of eight daughters in her family and one of three sets of twins. Barton's twin is Janelle and their sisters are Wink, Daffney, Juwana, Dominique, Tash and Kerri.

“At a time when adolescents are exploring their independence and challenged to distance themselves from risky behaviors, we wanted to showcase healthy habits to inspire our community and encourage widespread and long-term participation in these positive lifestyle choice,” Miele said.

Other districts that participated in the essay contest included Franklin Regional, Greater Latrobe, Greensburg Salem, Hempfield Area, Ligonier Valley, Mount Pleasant Area, Norwin and Penn-Trafford.

Barton said she wanted to thank her teachers for their support.

Kristie Linden is an editor for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at or 724-838-5154.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.



Show commenting policy

Most-Read Jeannette

  1. Pa. budget impasse forces temporary closure of Jeannette Public Library
  2. Jeannette High School buses students for first time in decades
  3. Jeannette’s Triano brings DIY skills to schools
  4. Jeannette McKee Middle School names its students of the month
  5. Elliott Credit Union opens branch at Jeannette High School
  6. Jeannette McKee Middle School leaders look to make impact
  7. Jeannette’s comprehensive plan team suggests cleanups, trees
  8. Meet your Jeannette neighbors: Leslie Earnest