The successful ACT! Get Up! Get Moving! childhood obesity program received an $86,120 funding boost Dec. 14, 2014, allowing the program to continue in 2014.
The Safeway Foundation donated a check for $71,120, and Sage Fruit donated $15,000.
Three local organizations – Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital, the Yakima Family YMCA and Pacific Northwest University of Health Sciences – launched the ACT! program in January with support from the Safeway Foundation and Sage Fruit.
ACT stands for Actively Changing Together. It’s a curriculum created by Seattle Children’s Hospital. The program is designed to bring overweight and obese children, ages 8-14, and their parents together to receive nutrition and physical fitness education. Once they complete the program, the participants are evaluated to see what impacts the education had on eating habits, physical activity and overall quality of life.
“We are so grateful to the Safeway Foundation and to Sage Fruit for their recognition and continued support of the program,” said Kate Sansom, ACT! program coordinator. “The funding will ensure more families in the Yakima Valley learn behaviors for healthier lifestyles that will contribute to the overall health of our community.”
Participation in the 12-week program is completely voluntary and involves a child in the defined age range and a parent. Program highlights include a 90-minute nutrition and fitness group session, plus two additional fitness-only sessions per week, for 12 weeks.
The program is offered in English and Spanish. So far, 71 families in the Yakima area have completed the program, and 200 community members have learned more about nutrition and physical fitness. Winter sessions in English and Spanish begin next month.
The additional funding will allow for six ACT! sessions in 2014 – three in English and three in Spanish – and for follow-up study of this year’s participants at six and 12 months after they’ve completed the program.