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Healthy U is a “Go” for the New School Year at the YMCA of Burlington and Camden Counties

Jaidyn Boyd, Lily Trakis and Addison Trakis enjoy a moment before participating in the “parachute” game at the Mt. Laurel YMCA’s Healthy U kick-off event.
Jaidyn Boyd, Lily Trakis and Addison Trakis enjoy a moment before participating in the “parachute” game at the Mt. Laurel YMCA’s Healthy U kick-off event.

Healthy U is a “Go” for the New School Year at the YMCA of Burlington and Camden Counties

The YMCA of Burlington and Camden Counties, a cause-driven nonprofit charitable organization, celebrated its fifth year of incorporating Healthy U in its youth programs by holding three special Healthy U kick-off events at the Mt. Laurel YMCA, Burlington-Riverfront YMCA and Beverly City School. 

“Hosting Healthy U school-year kick-off events demonstrates our recommitment to Healthy U while creating an exciting program for the kids who can see how much fun healthy living can be,” said Dana Collins, Executive Director of Child Care and Camp.

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.  Healthy U teaches children ages 3 -13 years old 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. 

“As one in three children are overweight or obese — they are at risk of developing serious health problems in adulthood. Through the Healthy U program, we can make a positive impact on youth and their families,” said Tim Kerrihard, President/CEO.

At the Mt. Laurel YMCA Early Child Care, Riverfront YMCA Early Child Care and Beverly City School’s Healthy U kick-off events nearly 100 children participated in lively CATCH activities including hula-hoop and parachute games. During circle time, children discussed healthy food choices in “go, slow and whoa” categories, and made a special snack, “Ants on a Log” with celery, peanut butter or cream cheese and raisins. 

Healthy U has been a part of the Y after school program since 2008, and Y preschool-age programs since 2012. The school-based program incorporates the Healthy U curriculum in physical education, the classroom setting, the cafeteria and throughout the school community.  The philosophy is to promote, educate and create a culture for healthy living and help students make positive choices for physical activity and nutrition.  The program also provides support to families for making good choices and lifestyle changes.

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. 

About the Y

The YMCA of Burlington and Camden Counties is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) charitable corporation that is building strong kids, families and communities through programs designed to improve an individual’s spirit, mind and body.  The YMCA serves more than 30,000 members in Burlington and Camden Counties through its two full facility sites in Mt. Laurel and Burlington-Riverfront, and more than 25 program sites in Burlington and Camden Counties. YMCA services include aquatics, preschool, youth and teen programs, fitness programs, family programs and childcare services.  Social opportunities for seniors and the disabled, community education and summer camps are offered as well.  For more information, visit www.ymca-bc.org

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