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Youth in Motion promotion: health

United Way of Halifax County is kicking off its new grant funded program “Youth in Motion” to the community by offering free mobile day camps for the next five weeks.

The mission of Youth in Motion (YIM) is to establish environments that promote and support healthy lifestyles for children, according to Tina Wyatt -Younger, spokesperson for the new program. 

The vision for Youth in Motion is to improve and or maintain the health of children and their families through obesity prevention related activities and outreach efforts, she explained.

“The focus area of Youth in Motion are “Kids Ride”-Bike Club Summer Camp which will allow mentors, coaches, driving teachers and adult bike club members to work with our youth in building character, developing teamwork skills, learning how to have friendly competition and to win or lose with respect,” Wyatt-Younger added. 

Community teaching gardens will place the emphasis on creating next generation leaders to push home the message of childhood obesity prevention by utilizing local graduating seniors who display a passion for exercise, healthy eating and leadership.

United Way Halifax submitted a grant application along with an Obesity Prevention Project Work Plan to Virginia for Healthy Youth in the latter part of 2013, and United Way was given $63,000 grant award for fiscal years 2014-2016.

 Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth, started in 1999 by the Virginia General Assembly, promotes healthy living habits and reduces and prevents youth tobacco use and childhood obesity. 

United Way formed partnerships through its Healthy Communities Action Team, local agencies who share a common vision and values concerning childhood obesity education and prevention. 

The Healthy Communities Action Team also helps to establish team goals and outreach efforts. These teams are utilized throughout the tenure of the program by assisting with the use of facilities to prepare daily snacks for the youth and creating a mobile obstacle course for physical fitness, Wyatt-Younger said.

For the next five weeks through Aug. 5, Youth in Motion will host a mobile day camp from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the following sites:

Grove Avenue Park (July 7-11)

 North Main Street Park (July 14-18)

 Westside Village Community Playground (July 21-23)

 Country Green Apartments (July 24-25)

 Vaughan Street Park (July 28-Aug. 1)

 Closing Summer Camp Celebration (location TBA)

On July 12 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Constitution Square, Youth in Motion will host a “Jump Around” event to promote a day of healthy activities for the family.

Admission is free.

Participants who attend three or more days at the Kids Ride Bike Camp will receive free hydration bottles, helmets to promote bike safety, logo tees and daily healthy snacks.   

Volunteers are welcomed and asked to help spread the word “we are fighting childhood obesity one child at a time,” Wyatt-Younger concluded.