HPLAY program rewarded with grant

Published 12:57 am Friday, June 5, 2009

The Jonathan Daniels CDC is one of six organizations to receive a grant from the Coca-Cola Foundation for its Healthy Programs Linking Alabama Youth, a six-week health and nutrition camp, to increase physical activity, nutrition education and behavior changes in youth.

“The collaborative partners of HPLAY want our children to be reminded of the simple fun of being outdoors and physically active playing such activities such as baseball, basketball, tag, jump rope, dodge ball or just running in the backyard,” said Joyce Kendrick, director of the JDCDC.

“We want to also encourage other Alabama cities and communities to join our efforts to develop ‘communities for play.’  Together we can reverse the trend of Alabama being the third most obese state in the nation and that this generation of children could be the first to have shorter, less-healthy lives than their parents.”

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Ingrid Saunders Jones, chair of the Coca-Cola Foundation, said the goal is to make a positive difference in the lives of Alabama’s youth by addressing declining trends in physical activity. The Jonathan Daniels CDC was one of six nonprofits receiving grants totaling $100,000. The CDC received $23,000 of that.

The program will begin June 15 at the PAL Center. Registration for youth, 12-18 is under way.

“We are very excited to have something positive for our kids to do this summer,” says Officer Dorothy Cowan, director of Selma Police Athletic League.

Program youth activities include nutrition classes, free health screenings, family budgeting classes, motivational guest speakers and field trips. Physical activities include fitness assessments, fitness classes, Yoga, body-shaping and toning, volleyball, basketball, outdoor games, walking, kickball and other “get up and get moving” activities.

Collaborative partners include the City of Selma, Dr. Patricia Robinson, board certified pediatrician of Pediatric Adolescent Medicine, who along with Chi Eta Phi Sorority (nursing) and Wallace Community College Practical Nursing Program will provide free health screenings and physical assessments for the children at camp. The nutrition classes will be taught using the Selma Chapter of Links Inc. My Body My Future nutrition outline.

“Obesity is a long-term problem facing Alabama, but working together, we can reverse this trend and make Alabama a more healthy and productive place to live,” Robinson said.