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Fit Kids of Arizona receives grant from the Safeway Foundation to benefit at-school programs


October 11,2013

Determining the extent that Fit Kids of Arizona is helping make school children in Northern Arizona healthier is the focus of a grant Fit Kids recently received from the Safeway Foundation. The grant, totaling nearly $32,000, has a two-fold focus. First, funds will be used to evaluate and measure the impact Fit Kids at School is having in helping children develop healthier lifestyles. Second, funds will be used to provide a roadmap for other schools and organizations throughout the state and nation to follow when starting similar programs.

Fit Kids at School started in 2012 and is now active in 17 schools that reside within several school districts in Cottonwood, Camp Verde, Flagstaff and Williams.

Through the Fit Kids at School program, Fit Kids staff works with the school districts and school staff to coordinate activities and provide direction for the program in each school. Elements of the program include a dedicated staff member to provide structured activities before school and during recess and lunch breaks; innovative, kid-preferred activity equipment that can be used both inside and outside to encourage physical activity; the purchase of new active-play, computer-based activity engagement programs that can be used by large groups of participants at one time; and nutrition and healthy eating education.

Fit Kids of Arizona is a regional community health initiative developed by Northern Arizona Healthcare and its member hospitals – Flagstaff Medical Center and Verde Valley Medical Center – to address the increasing health concern of obesity in children. Fit Kids assists children and their families in developing healthy lifestyles while reducing the problems and illnesses associated with excess weight. Services include clinical programs for children identified at risk for obesity and related health issues, and a host of community outreach programs focused on nutrition, physical activity, self-esteem and healthy improvements. Since opening in 2009, more than 1,600 children have been referred to the Fit Kids clinical program and tens of thousands of children have participated through outreach programs such as Fit Kids at School.

For more information on Fit Kids of Arizona or Fit Kids at School, in Flagstaff call 928-214-3557; in the Verde Valley call 928-634-1880; or visit FitKidsOfArizona.com; become a friend of Fit Kids of Arizona at facebook.com/FitKidsOfArizona.

The grant is part of the Safeway Foundation’s funding opportunities and commitment to innovative approaches for preventing or treating childhood obesity. The Safeway Foundation awards grant funds to nonprofit organizations that strengthen the neighborhoods in which Safeway serves. The Foundation actively seeks out organizations that are working with the community and making an impact where Safeway shoppers live. For more information, visit SafewayFoundation.org.



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