Adults and children being active together. That’s just one goal the West Michigan Action for Healthy Kids (WMAHK) set for their nonprofit coalition. Teaching kids, families and schools to become healthier through good nutrition and physical activity is the mission of this locally based group. “We focus on total health, not weight. All kids, no matter their shape or size, need to move everyday and make healthy food choices,” said Dawn Davies, co-chair of WMAHK. “Enjoying activity as a family sets a better example, and makes it more fun! The Race for Healthy Kids is the perfect place to start.” Last year, the October morning was crisp and cool as runners poured onto the Rockford High School campus for the 5K and kids run. The energy in the air was high as 5K runners, both novice and seasoned racers, stretched and prepared to walk or run the course. Music pumped through the air and the children at the event knew something exciting was going on. Some youth ran or walked the 5K, while others were anxious to watch their “grown-ups” finish the race, and then run around the high school track to complete the Kids Fruity Fun Run. Among participants was first-time 5K runner, Lisa. She was there for self-empowerment, but also to set a healthy example for her four children. They cheered her on as she crossed the finish line of her first race ever. After grabbing some well-received healthy snacks, all four of her kids participated in the Kids Fruity Fun Run—even the 1-year-old! Lisa said, “It was a fun morning together as a family. We were active and demonstrated the importance of a healthy lifestyle for [the] children.” The 2nd Annual Race for Healthy Kids is right around the corner. With the success of last year propelling the race forward, more participants are expected to be pledging to set a great example for all children to be physically active and to eat healthy every day. Are you ready to make your stance on October 8, 2011? Sign up today at www.actionforhealthykids.org/michigan. Registration closes Monday, Oct. 3.
West Michigan Action for Healthy Kids
SCHOOL BEAT Race For Healthy Kids on October 8 by LISA JACOBS Exective Director, Rockford Community Services and DAWN DAVIES Public Health Educator Kent County Health Department For the second year in a row, Rockford Community Services (RCS) and Rockford Public Schools (RPS) will have a wonderful opportunity to partner with the West Michigan Action for Healthy Kids (WMAFHK). WMAFHK is a nonprofit volunteer network fighting childhood obesity and undernourishment. WMAFHK works with schools and families to improve nutrition and physical activity to help our kids learn to eat right, be active every day and be ready to learn. The sponsors and members include Spectrum Health, Kellogg’s, Kent County Health Department, United Lifestyles, Kent County Sheriff’s Department, United Dairy Industry of Michigan and RPS. The partnership includes a 5k walk/run for adults, and a Fruity Fun Run just for kids. The race and course takes place at Rockford High School and the surrounding area on October 8, 2011. Proceeds from the race go directly to support WMAFHK. The nonprofit coalition works with schools to help kids learn to be healthy and active every day. The first-year proceeds will go directly to help Meadow Ridge and Roguewood elementary schools. WMAFHK will donate pedometers, water bottles, running shoes and free registrations for this year’s race to start the 2011-2012 school year moving! There is a $20 registration fee for the 5K walk/run event ($10 student rate) and a $5 fee for the Fruity Fun Run. Registration forms can be downloaded from www.actionforhealthykids.org/michigan. Completed forms and registration fees can be done online, dropped off or mailed to Dawn Davies at the Kent County Health Department, 700 Fuller Ave. NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49503. If you are interested in becoming involved with WMAFHK or the network, please contact Dawn Davies at firstname.lastname@example.org or Lisa Jacobs at email@example.com. Please register and help the WMAFHK support programs that encourage healthier kids, families and schools to get outside and be active!