Healthy U Spring Symposium Celebrates 10 Years of Impact on the Healthy Children & Families in New Jeresy

Author: Meadowlands YMCA
Date Posted: Wednesday, June 6, 2018

HEALTHY U SPRING SYMPOSIUM CELEBRATES 10 YEARS OF IMPACT ON THE HEALTH OF CHILDREN AND FAMILIES IN NEW JERSEY

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ, June 6, 2018 - Over 100 Healthy U champions and partners from YMCAs and schools from all over the state gathered at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ on May, 18th to celebrate 10 years of community impact. Healthy U was also formally presented with the 2017 CATCH® Award for Excellence in State Health.  CATCH (Coordinated Approach to Child Health) is the nationally-recognized curriculum used in the program. This award recognizes the partnership between the Horizon Foundation for New Jersey and the New Jersey YMCA State Alliance and its 36 member associations for Healthy U’s efforts to promote nutrition education and increased physical activity in schools and YMCA childcare settings, advocating for policies that support healthy environments, and convening partners across the state to create a positive collective health impact. Because of the many initiatives made possible by Healthy U, New Jersey kids and families report that they are eating more fruits and vegetables, and consuming fewer processed and sugary foods. They are spending more time being physically active and less time in front of screens.

Attendees also participated in physical activity workshops such as: “Get Focused: Empowering Youth to Read and Exercise Fitness and Literacy Boot Camp” with Golden Martinez and “Yogapalooza: How to immediately incorporate yoga & mindfulness with music, beloved activities, tips, tools and creative relaxation” with Bari Koral and participation games with CATCH and QB54.

The Healthy U program launched in 2008 as a collaboration between The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey and the New Jersey YMCA State Alliance with the goal of promoting healthy behavior and preventing childhood obesity through more physical activity, family involvement and nutrition education. “Over 76,000 children and their families have experience Healthy U over the past 10 years at 480 YMCA early learning and afterschool sites and 70 schools across the state,” says Sue Cornell, Healthy U Director NJ YMCA State Alliance, “that’s a collective impact that would fill the stands of this stadium.”

“It is critical to engage parents to get them more involved with their children to learn about good nutrition and the importance of daily exercise,” said Jonathan R. Pearson, Director of Corporate Social Responsibility for Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey and Executive Director of The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey. “Childhood obesity can and must be overcome and with the support of more than 100 leaders coming together, it is our collective commitment and vast network of health advocates that will help us reach this attainable goal.” 

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 sue.cornell@ymca.net or visit www.njymca.org.  Follow on social media at @YHealthyU.

The Y is the nation’s leading nonprofit committed to strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility.

 

Leaders from CATCH Global Foundation present Healthy U with the 2017 CATCH® Award for Excellence in State Health at the Healthy U 2018 Spring Symposium.  Pictured L-R: Sue Cornell, Healthy U Director NJ YMCA State Alliance; Darrin Anderson, Executive Director NJ YMCA State Alliance; Jonathan Pearson, Director of Corporate Social Responsibility for Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey and Executive Director of The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey; Duncan Van Dusen, Founding Executive Director of CATCH Global Foundation; George Carmel, President of Flaghouse Inc.;  and David Carcieri, President and CEO, Somerset County YMCA and New Jersey YMCA State Alliance President.

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.   

About the YMCA 
The Y is one of the nation’s leading nonprofits strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility.  Across New Jersey, YMCAs reach over 550,000 residents including 250,000 children under the age of 18.  Ys nurture the potential of children and teens, improve the nation’s health and well-being, and provide opportunities to give back and support neighbors. Anchored in more than 36 New Jersey communities, the Y has the long-standing relationships and physical presence not just to promise, but to deliver, lasting personal and social change.  The New Jersey YMCA State Alliance brings together New Jersey Ys to better serve the people of New Jersey.  Learn more at www.njymca.org.

About the Meadowlands Area YMCA

Established in 1920, the Meadowlands Area YMCA is located in East Rutherford, New Jersey, and serves more than 12,000 individuals. The Y provides more than $375,000 each year in financial assistance to over 1,000 local families living and working in East Rutherford, North Arlington, Wood-Ridge, Rutherford, Wallington, Secaucus, Lyndhurst, Carlstadt, Moonachie, Maywood, Little Ferry, Edgewater, and Hasbrouck Heights. The Y’s 50+ site locations host programs committed to nurturing the potential of children, promoting healthy living, and fostering a sense of social responsibility. They offer an array of programs that build spirit, mind and body for people of all ages and circumstances. The brand new 83,200 sq. ft. Meadowlands YMCA, on 390 Murray Hill Parkway in East Rutherford, opened May 15th, 2017. The facility is the former training center of the NBA’s New Jersey Nets and is this branch’s first centrally located building. Learn more at www.meadowlandsymca.org.


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