Congratulations to the recipients of the 2013 Healthy Activity Grants!
Grants were awarded to 73 organizations and groups of neighbors in Minnesota and Western Wisconsin to support activities that promote social connections and increase healthy behaviors, such as healthy eating and active living. View list of grant recipients.
Free childcare gives parents the time to exercise or try yoga
Cambridge School District 911 offers a 10-week series of exercise classes to parents and to the early childhood staff. A Healthy Activity Grant allowed the district to offer free childcare during the classes. The program was an exciting “first” for the Cambridge-Isanti area, which hasn’t had any exercise programs offering childcare. Kim Goodmanson, the district’s Early Childhood Programs coordinator, talks about the benefits of the program.
Safety Rodeos stress the importance of wearing helmets while riding bikes
So How Are the Children (SHAC)/4Youth hosted three Bike Safety Rodeos. Two of the rodeos were in Faribault neighborhoods with a high percentage of young Latinos. The third was a community-wide Bike Rodeo to attract families and young people from all of Faribault’s neighborhoods. Carolyn Treadway, director of the organization, shares how the program taught not only bike safety but a whole lot more.
Center School addresses diabetes risks by promoting exercise
Diabetes is at “epidemic proportions within our community,” said Joseph Rice, executive director of Center School in Minneapolis. Regular exercise is known to reduce the risk of diabetes, so Center School used its Healthy Activity Grant to support its program of adventurous outdoor activities for students. Rice gives us more details about the program.
River Fall Community Education offers a place for parents and kids to connect
A Healthy Activity Grant allowed River Falls School District Community Education to offer a free, weekly Open Gym for preschoolers. The gym provides a place for young parents and their children to get together, play and connect. This is the first such program in River Falls.
Cambridge neighbors learn together about eating healthy and keeping active
The families of a Cambridge neighborhood group, many with young children, used their Healthy Activity grant to pursue three activities promoting a healthy lifestyle: the Presidential Active Lifestyle Award (PALA+) challenge, the “Today I Ate A Rainbow” game and a nutritious neighborhood potluck dinner with Backyard Olympics.
Oak Hills Living Center
Oak Hills Living Center is a long-term care facility in New Ulm, offering a wide range of services to residents, including assisted living, skilled nursing care, and transitional care and therapy. Senior care facilities are known for having high employee turnover; Oak Hills looked for ways to change that trend by developing an employee engagement program called “Mission Possible.”
Scott County Human Services’ Sole Patrol
Scott County (Minn.) Human Services wanted to reach out to individuals living with severe mental illness to improve overall health and a sense of connectedness to others. They used a Healthy Activity Grant to support Sole Patrol, a walking club to attract those who may not otherwise choose to exercise or engage in physical activities. Scott Wineman, an adult mental health case manager for Scott County, shares how he and his team are using their grant.
Gardening World Wide
Gardening World Wide (GWW) works to bring fresh nutritious food to people by teaching them to grow their own. Founded by Pat and Connie Lahr of Maple Lake, Minn., this organization promotes Square Foot Gardening, a method of planting not in rows, but in a four-foot square raised garden with a special soil mix that promotes abundant harvests. Read more about this innovative program.
Leitch Insurance Agency
The owner of a River Falls, Wisc. insurance company knew that someone’s impression of how much exercise he or she gets can vary greatly from reality. So, Steve Leitch, Owner of Leitch Insurance Agency, decided to offer his employees a way to bridge that gap through an office-wide walking challenge. This is their story.
YMCA helps adults 60+ Eat, Move & Live Well
Eat, Move & Live Well is a program designed for adults age 60+ who desire to make lifestyle adjustments that will change their lives. In 13 small group sessions at the Emma B. Howe YMCA in Coon Rapids, Minn., participants dive into relevant topics and set goals to eat well, get active and live life to the fullest by making small changes to their daily routine. Derek Otto, Director of Healthy Living at Emma B. Howe talks about the program.
Firebellies teaches middle-school students the art and science of healthy cooking
Firebellies, in association with the Carleton College cooking club, uses cooking to teach science to Latino youth in the Northfield, Minn. area. Through hands-on cooking experiments, middle-school students learn scientific concepts and build meaningful relationships with Carleton College students. Read more about this tasty endeavor.
Neighbors work together to bring yoga to local park
Friends of Way Park in Northfield, Minn. is supported by a group of neighbors who care for and encourage activity in the park. They applied for a Healthy Activity Grant so they could offer a series of yoga classes in the park. Learn more.