The Gateway Family YMCA celebrated its participation in the Healthy U program with its annual kick-off event in youth programs, including before/after school care, child care and preschool sites in Eastern Union County and Northern Middlesex County, NJ. The yearly kickoff event was held on Tuesday, October 18th. Representatives from local YMCAs, the Horizon Foundation and local community leaders visited YMCA sites to join in the kick-off celebrations.
“Thanks to the support and commitment of the Horizon Foundation, YMCAs across the state of New Jersey are making a difference in the health of children. Having Healthy U as part of our curriculum at The Gateway Family YMCA adds value to our programs for our youth and their families,” stated Krystal R. Canady, CEO, The Gateway Family YMCA. “Healthy U is an important part of the youth development curriculum and our YMCA is dedicated to promoting healthy behavior changes to combat childhood obesity.”
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 through nutrition education, physical education and family involvement. The program is implemented at YMCA sites across the state.
“Celebrating Farm to School Month at our Healthy U school year kickoff event is a great way to create connections for kids with where food comes from. Making healthy food choices is a key component of the Healthy U program at our Y,” stated Melynda A. Mileski, EVP/COO. Preschool children at the Five Points Branch Child Development Center in Union used a story to show where our food comes from, and then created healthy snacks to try.
Established in 2007, the Healthy U program is the result of a collaborative partnership between The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey and the New Jersey YMCA State Alliance. Through pre-school, after-school and school-based programs, Healthy U impacts more than 46,000 children, ages 3 to 13, at over 500 YMCA and elementary school sites statewide. These YMCA afterschool and preschool programs and partnering schools are implementing environmental strategies and activities, and education to increase physical activity and promote good nutrition for students and their families. Since its inception, The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey has awarded three grants totaling $4.62 million in grants for the program, which in 2015 was renewed through December, 2019.
The Y is the nation’s leading nonprofit committed to strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. “This annual kickoff day celebrates our commitment to helping children have healthier lives through the Healthy U program,” added Danielle Cioffi, District Executive Director.
For more information about #HealthyU and The Gateway Family YMCA, please visit www.tgfymca.org
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