More than 30 percent of children in Ohio are considered overweight or obese, according to the National Initiative for Children’s Healthcare Quality.
Thanks to Kohl’s Cares®, Akron Children’s Hospital received a grant for $225,413 to continue fitness programming for children in the community.
“This is an important grant for the hospital because one of the targets is to try and prevent overweight children,” said Amy Chand, youth fitness specialist and exercise physiologist at Akron Children’s Hospital. “This is a good way to promote fitness initiatives in Akron and the Mahoning Valley.”
The 2013 program will focus on providing fitness education in the Akron Public Schools and schools in the Mahoning Valley. Ten schools in the Akron Public School District and two schools in the Mahoning Valley will get 1 to 2 hour, school-based assemblies that will feature lessons about basic nutrition, healthy eating and physical activity.
Students will also be given fitness challenges they can try at home, and materials will be sent home so the parents can encourage healthy lifestyles.
“The most important aspect of the program is to get materials to the parents because that’s where it starts,” said Chand. “Children are not going to make the changes unless the parents are motivated and willing to make those changes as well.”
Since 2000, Kohl’s has donated more than $3.5 million to Akron Children’s Hospital for fitness programming and other programs through their Kohl’s Cares® cause merchandise program.