For more information contact:
Madison Area YMCA
Marketing & Communications Department
For Immediate Release
CAPTION: The “Big Apple Crunch” took place at the F.M. Kirby Children’s Center of the Madison Area YMCA to celebrate the Y’s Healthy U kickoff. Top Row – Madison Fire Chief Noe, Madison Area YMCA School Age Coordinator and Community Mental Health Initiative Coordinator Katie Koontz; Mayor Bob Conley; F.M. Kirby Children’s Center of the Madison Area YMCA Healthy U Coordinator Curtiss Sallie
Bottom Row – Olivia Sullivan (Madison, 3), Lina Myers (Madison, 3), Vivian Mazzacano (Madison, 3), Surabhi Natarajan (Madison, 3), Sammy Goncalves (Chatham, 3), Caroline Ozol (Madison, 4), Stephen Sorder (Madison, 3), Kendall Richards (Madison, 3), Luke Caponegro (Madison, 4), Kinsley Sands (Madison, 4), Leighton Mitchener (Morristown, 4), Emma Iuliano (Madison, 4), Griffin Lardiana (Florham Park, 3), Nathalie Hearn (Madison, 4), Jacob Chase (Madison, 3), Richie Perna (Mendham, 4), Madelyn Then (Madison, 3)
Healthy U is a “Go” for the New School Year at the F.M. Kirby Children's Center of the Madison Area YMCA
(Madison, NJ) November 3, 2017— The F.M. Kirby Children’s Center celebrated the annual Healthy U fall kickoff with a Big Apple Crunch. Healthy eating is a key component of the program.
Madison Mayor Bob Conley and the Madison Fire Department led the Big Apple Crunch for preschool, kindergarten and school-age students. Mayor Conley discussed “go, slow and woah” foods with the children. Throughout the week, school-age students, engaged in Healthy U activities including making healthy snacks, participating in “Walktober” by walking for 30 minutes and talking about healthy eating with a dietician from Shop Rite.
In New Jersey, one out of every three school age children is either overweight or obese putting them at risk of developing serious health problems later in life. The Healthy U program is the result of a collaboration between The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey and the New Jersey YMCA State Alliance. Healthy U’s goal is to promote healthy behavior and to prevent childhood obesity through more physical activity, family involvement and nutrition education.
The purpose and goals of the Healthy U annual kickoff events are to:
- Demonstrate the positive, healthy impact of Healthy U
- Introduce new students and families to the many benefits of Healthy U
- Promote a three-pronged effort to combat childhood obesity through nutrition education, stepped up physical activity and family engagement
“Healthy U is changing lives for the better,” said Horizon BCBSNJ Chairman & CEO and Horizon Foundation Chairman Robert A. Marino. “Thousands of children who take part in Healthy U each day are learning why proper nutrition and physical activity are so important. These children are leading healthier, more productive lives.”
“Celebrating Healthy U in coordination with the annual Lights on Afterschool event is so important to raise the awareness of improving the health and well-being of children,” said F.M. Kirby Children’s Center School-Age Coordinator and Community Mental Health Initiative Coordinator Katie Koontz. “Healthy U is a unique asset to YMCA child care education programming. All evidence indicates that well-nourished active children are more prepared to learn and thrive.”
Since Healthy U’s inception in 2008, The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey has invested more than $4.7 million to sustain the program through 2019. For more information on this program contact your local Y or Sue Cornell, Healthy U Director, NJ YMCA State Alliance at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.njymca.org.
The Y is the nation’s leading nonprofit committed to strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility.
About the F.M. Kirby Children’s Center
The F.M. Kirby Children’s Center of the Madison Area YMCA is one of the largest early childhood development centers and provides exceptional quality in child care and curriculum-based early childhood education for infants, toddlers, preschoolers, Young 5 students and kindergartners.
As a former elementary school, the Kirby Center facility is specifically designed for children. Located on almost 3-acres of property, the Center has a full-size gym, full kitchen that serves snacks and meals, a pediatric registered nurse on staff and five state-of-the-art playgrounds to serve all age groups.
The F.M. Children’s Kirby Center is a member of the prestigious New Jersey YMCA State Alliance, a participating partner in the Horizon Foundation for New Jersey initiative to implement school-based food, nutrition and physical education programs and is also a flagship center for the Healthy U program which teaches preschool children the importance of physical activity and healthful nutrition. Financial assistance may be available for eligible families.
For more information about the F.M. Kirby Children’s Center, located at 54 East Street in Madison, please call 973-377-4945 or visit www.madisonareaymca.org.
The Madison Area YMCA is a 501(c)(3) cause-driven charitable organization dedicated to strengthening community through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility.
About Healthy U
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 preschool, after-school and school-based programs, Healthy U impacts more than 90,000 children, ages 3 to 13, at 480 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 in 2007, The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey has invested $4.7 million to develop and sustain the program through 2019. For more information, please visit www.njymca.org/main/healthy-u
About The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey
The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey is committed to working alongside those who can help us improve our neighbors’ health, inform their health decisions and inspire them to lead healthier, more fulfilling lives. The Foundation’s funding pillars are Caring, Connecting and Creating. Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey is the sole member of The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey, both of which are independent licensees of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. For more information please visit www.Community.HorizonBlue.com.