Community YMCA ‘Healthy U’ Expands to Charter School

November 29, 2013
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SHREWSBURY – Students at Red Bank Charter School kicked off their new Healthy U program with The Com­munity YMCA. The Y program is part of a statewide effort in New Jersey to tackle the childhood obesity epidemic.

Kindergarten students at Red Bank Charter School start the morning with a stretch as part of the new YMCA Healthy U program. Helping at the program kickoff are, from left, Michelle Fogerty, kindergarten adjunct teacher; Jessica Hansen, kindergarten teacher; John Chestman, physical education and health teacher; and, Janice Matthaey, of The Community YMCA.

Kindergarten students at Red Bank Charter School start the morning with a stretch as part of the new YMCA Healthy U program. Helping at the program kickoff are, from left, Michelle Fogerty, kindergarten adjunct teacher; Jessica Hansen, kindergarten teacher; John Chestman, physical education and health teacher; and, Janice Matthaey, of The Community YMCA.

 

“The Y is proud to be at the forefront of addressing childhood obesity,” said The Community YMCA President and CEO Rhonda Anderson. “One in three children are overweight or obese and at risk of developing serious health problems as adults. Through the Healthy U program, we can make a positive impact on youth and their families.”

Healthy U, which began Nov. 11 at the charter school, 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. Healthy U teaches children ages 3 -13 how to be healthy for a lifetime. It uses the CATCH (Coordinated Approach to Child Health) curriculum to promote physical activity and good nutrition while showing kids that eating healthy and being physically active every day can be fun.

Rose Mary Mintz, vice president of child achievement at The Community YMCA, said Red Bank Charter is the first school in the area to incorporate Healthy U into the school curriculum and one of only 24 in New Jersey.

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“We are pleased to give Red Bank children and families the support they need for making healthy choices and lifestyle changes,” Mintz said.

She noted that the program was introduced in 2008 to Y afterschool programs and has since expanded to YMCA preschool sites and elementary schools during school hours.

Red Bank Charter School Principal Meredith Pennotti said participation in Healthy U provides additional and complementary health education to the school, while promoting a culture of wellness that can improve academic performance and increase student health.

“The Community YMCA has been a great partner in helping our students learn, grow and thrive by providing free access at their facility and now through this enriching Healthy U program,” Pennotti said.

Healthy U is made possible through a grant from The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey, a division of Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield. Since 2008, the Horizon Foundation for New Jersey has invested $3.45 million in the Healthy U initiative.

For more information about the program contact The Community YMCA at 732-671-5505 or Sue Cornell, Healthy U director, NJ YMCA State Alliance, at sue.cornell@ymca.net, or visit www.njymca.org.

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