TIIIIIIIIIIIIDAL WAAAAAAAAAAAAVE… of health!

Success can be determined by the impact a project has or can have on a group of people over time.  Although the success of chronic disease prevention programs can not be determined immediately upon their administration, projected outcomes can be identified if the program is evidence based. In Atlantic City, the Cumberland Cape Atlantic YMCA and the NJPHK-AC (New Jersey Partnership for Healthy Kids Atlantic City) is utilizing the YMCA’s Healthy U Program to combat childhood obesity. The YMCA’s Healthy U Program aims to prevent childhood obesity through improved nutrition, increased physical activity, and parental involvement.

Currently, the Healthy U Program is being championed at Texas Avenue and Richmond Avenue Schools. Recently, the program has been expanded to New York Avenue School! The New York Avenue School Wellness Committee will be trained on their next Professional Development Day. The Wellness Committee consists of the school nurse, principal, PE teachers, and various staff members.

The Healthy Corner Store initiative is gaining ground in Atlantic City as the Healthy U program takes the school district by storm. The Cumberland Cape Atlantic YMCA and the NJPHK-AC has been vigorously scanning and soliciting local corner stores to make the necessary conversions to provide healthier food options for the residents of the communities they serve. By offering a variety of food options devoid of fats, sodium, and excess sugars, the fight against chronic disease would be impacted tremendously. This summer, staff will be tirelessly reaching out to targeted stores around schools and communities to make the biggest impact possible in the daily lives of those that use these grocers as the primary source in obtaining meals.NY Avenue School

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Sussex County YMCA After School Program -Healthy Start to a New School Year

The Sussex County YMCA is dedicated to Youth Development, Healthy Living and Social Responsibility. Through our efforts to help communities stay healthy and strong, the Sussex County YMCA is assisting in a program to teach local children more about healthy living.
Through a generous grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the New Jersey Partnership for Healthy Kids, our Y was able to purchase new equipment for the Franklin Borough Elementary School to supplement their “CATCH” and “Healthy U” programs.
Students in the Franklin Borough School are excited to be back at school using the new equipment purchased through the grant. Some of the new equipment consists of hockey sets, safety goggles, kick balls, scooters, hoops, frisbees, ping pong equipment, climbing rope, jump ropes, cones and more. Physical Education teachers, Y staff, and the School’s Health Counsel are working together to use the new equipment in line with the parameters of the Healthy U and CATCH program. All activities and equipment are used to reinforce participation of all children in a non-competitive environment with non-elimination games.
In addition to being physically active, children in the Y afterschool care program have been learning about healthy nutrition. Supplemental nutrition materials and healthy snacks have been purchased through the grant in order to help educate children about healthy eating habits. Children are being exposed to a wider variety of fresh fruits and vegetables on a daily basis. Children have also been learning about portion control as well as “calories in and calories out.”
Students are also gearing up for the Healthy U Kick-Off in early October. They will be creating colorful displays and bulletin boards throughout the school and sharing information about the benefits of physical activity and healthy eating. Children will also recommit by signing the Healthy U pledge and promise to continue to eat healthy and to stay active each day.

Different Paths to the Same Destination

In March of 2014, the YMCA of Paterson set out to assist faith-based congregations and communities within the city of Paterson, New Jersey. The goal was to provide physical and nutrition based programming once a week for three hours. Within this time period, activities included Healthy Eating workshops, Coordinated Approach To Child Health (CATCH) activities, and general fitness and aquatics programs. With 60.7% of New Jersey’s population being overweight and 23.8% obese, according to the CDC website, the YMCA felt it was necessary to help put a large dent into the obesity epidemic prevalent within the Paterson community.

We began our programming with St. Luke’s Baptist Church and outreached with Wholelife Community Church from the neighboring township of Totowa. 33 individuals were introduced to CATCH and to the importance of food selection and food timing and participated in swimming, basketball, and fitness activities. With the end of the school year and the onset of the hot summer months, scheduled family vacations and weekend trips slowed down attendance.

To not lose momentum, we incorporated the YMCA Summer Camp and its 125 participants into the program. We changed our internal policy by introducing the YMCA’s Healthy Eating and Physical Activity Standards. 45 minutes of physical activity for four days out of the week with limited television and computer usage was also implemented. Collaborating with the Paterson Task Force allowed for every student to be provided a meal that consisted of one protein, one fruit, one vegetable, and an occasional starch. Furthermore, the Rutgers Cooperative Extension 4-H Youth Development Program spent the summer months teaching the many different aspects of healthy eating such as the My Plate Icon, new to most campers, the importance of family meal time, and how more fruits and vegetables can be included in their diet.

Understanding that healthy eating and increased physical movement must be put into practice, our goal was to introduce, further expand, and activate movement and the importance of a balanced diet. Many children and adults know its importance and the YMCA of Paterson wanted to and accomplished providing the opportunity to physically use the knowledge that has been sitting within them through use of our facility, the improvement of standards, and education.

Sussex County YMCA After School Program Gearing up for the new School Year

The Sussex County YMCA is dedicated to Youth Development, Healthy Living and Social Responsibility. Through our efforts to help communities stay healthy and strong, the Sussex County YMCA is assisting a program to teach local children more about healthy living.

Through a generous grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the New Jersey Partnership for Healthy Kids, our Y was able to purchase new equipment for the Franklin Borough Elementary School for this upcoming school year to supplement their “CATCH” and “Healthy U” programs.

With increased time, intensity and duration of physical activity during the school day and after school, these programs teach children that eating healthy and being physically active every day can be fun. Establishing these healthy habits in childhood can promote behavior changes that can last a lifetime.

Some of the new equipment consists of hockey sets, safety goggles, kick balls, scooters, hoops, frisbees, ping pong equipment, climbing rope, jump ropes, cones and more. Staff from the Sussex County YMCA will provide additional training to the Franklin Borough Elementary after school staff on the supplemental CATCH equipment to help strengthen the impact of the “Healthy U” program. Everyone involved is excited to see kids enjoying the new equipment and learning to enjoy a more active and healthy lifestyle.

Sussex County YMCA Promotes Being Active and Staying Healthy in After School Program

Franklin Borough Elementary School enjoying afterschool activities.

Franklin Borough Elementary School enjoying after school activities.

The Sussex County YMCA is dedicated to Youth Development, Healthy Living and Social Responsibility. The Y strives to help keep communities healthy and strong. The Sussex County YMCA, through a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the New Jersey Partnership for Healthy Kids, is able to teach local children at the Franklin Borough Elementary after school program learn more about healthy living.

The children in the after school program at Franklin Borough Elementary School have learned the importance of increased time, intensity and duration of physical activity during the school day and after school programs. Through The Coordinated Approach to Childhood Health (CATCH) program implemented at Franklin Borough Elementary School. By teaching children that eating healthy and being physically active every day can be fun, CATCH and the Healthy U program has proven that establishing healthy habits in childhood can promote behavior changes that can last a lifetime, with a long term goal to decrease obesity.

Healthy U and CATCH is an evidence-based program, designed to promote physical activity and healthy food choices in children. The after school CATCH curriculum is proven to have a positive impact on children ages 5-13. CATCH has proven that establishing healthy habits in childhood can promote behavior changes that can last a lifetime. It delivers coordinated messages about the importance of physical activity and nutrition. It also encourages parents and caregivers to help children learn behaviors to lead a healthier life.

Healthy U is a collaborative partnership between the New Jersey YMCA State Alliance and the Horizon Foundation for New Jersey with the goal of combating childhood obesity by delivering nutrition education, physical activity and parental involvement.

The Y has been utilizing Healthy U and CATCH Programs in its after school program at the Franklin Borough Elementary School. The CATCH program includes non-elimination games, along with the equipment needed for the activities, and a nutrition manual with weekly lesson plans. The program also includes letters to parents that reinforce and extend the lessons presented throughout the program, therefore making a bigger impact at home.

It is the hope of the Sussex County YMCA that CATCH continues to be a resource for children in our after school rogram and well into the future and that children’s lives are truly impacted for the better as they learn how to take care of their bodies through healthy eating and by staying active, allowing them to live long, full and healthy lives.

The Sussex County YMCA staff will provide additional training to the Franklin Borough Elementary afterschool staff and purchase supplemental CATCH equipment with the support of grant funds in order to strengthen the impact of the Healthy U program.