The YMCA of Riverside County is Expanding its Initiative to Combat Childhood Obesity
The YMCA of Riverside County is expanding its healthy initiative to combat childhood obesity, which affects 38.2% of children in the County. The Earn a Bike program is designed to increase the amount of physical activity performed by elementary school-aged children and improve nutritional content of their diets in order to lower the rate of childhood obesity and Type 2 Diabetes in the community.
The eight week program will now be offered at Tovashal Elementary School in Murrieta, along with Lakeland Village School in Lake Elsinore which is starting its second season of Earn a Bike. The program consists of exercises and physical education classes (3x per week) including team sport skills, yoga, soccer, obstacle courses, and nutrition classes (1x per week) for both participants and their parent. All exercise activities are charted and milestones are recognized on a weekly basis. The program will begin on October 5th and run through December 4th, culminating with a graduation ceremony where students who completed the program requirements receive a new bicycle, helmet, and lock to continue physical activity at home and in their community.
Childhood obesity continues to rise in our communities, with lower-class economic groups being highly affected by this epidemic. Many of the schools selected for this program have had their physical education courses cut down to as little one hour every two weeks. Lack of physical education and opportunity for physical activity in schools, especially low income schools, is contributing to the obesity and health epidemic in our communities and in our country. This free program from the Murrieta Family YMCA is made possible thanks to the funding provided by caring organizations such as Edwards Life Sciences Fund, the Salah Foundation, and the Pacific Life Foundation.
“The YMCA of Riverside County believes that these solutions must be community-wide collaborations and consider cultural and environmental factors such as poverty, access to parks and recreation, access to healthy foods, advocacy for proper funding of physical education in schools, and cultural differences in food preference or traditions,” says Jeff McBride, the YMCA of Riverside County’s Chief Executive Officer.
If you would like to help us continue to make programs like Earn a Bike possible, visit our Donation/Fundraising page for more information.
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Read the full press release here.