Hosts "Let's Move the Needle" Summit and Awards Healthy Kids Grants

Mosby Woods ElementaryThe Community Foundation for Northern Virginia aids in the fight against childhood obesity by issuing Healthy Kids Grants of $1,000 each to individual public schools in Northern Virginia in collaboration with the Chin Family Charitable Fund. These grants support school programs that encourage healthy lifestyles through increased exercise and better nutrition for students and families. In addition, the Community Foundation for Northern Virginia hosts an annual "Let's Move the Needle on Childhood Obesity Summit" in partnership with Inova Health System to raise awareness and to educate the public about this important issue in the community. This year's event was on September 26th.

This year, Healthy Kids Grants were awarded to 20 public schools in Northern Virginia to provide healthy lifestyle programs they may not have been able to fund otherwise. The recipients include elementary, middle, and high schools and represent the counties of Fairfax, Prince William, Arlington and Loudoun, and the cities of Alexandria, Manassas, and Falls Church.

Award winners include programs designed to encourage more physical activity. In Fairfax County, the Trailblazers Outdoor Adventure After School Club at Springfield Estates Elementary School will partner with TrailsforYouth.org to provide physical activity for low-income students and will work not only to encourage regular physical activity, but also environmental stewardship and healthy nutrition while building lasting relationships with program mentors.

Grant awardees also include a number of programs that encourage better nutrition. In Prince William County, a "Buy Locally, Cook Globally" Cooking Club at Rockledge Elementary School helps students increase nutritional awareness and learn how to cook healthy foods from around the world to celebrate the diversity of their school's community. Beth Wiesner, ESOL teacher at Rockledge Elementary and coach of the Cooking Club, described the program's success in its first year. "In every aspect the club was a great success! Months after the cooking club ended, students still stop me in the hall or come by my classroom to say that they've cooked something at home with their families."

A full list of 2013-2014 grant winners with information about their programs is available here.

In addition to providing grants to public schools, the Community Foundation for Northern Virginia also holds an annual event to raise awareness and to educate the public about this important issue in the community. On September 26, 2013, the Community Foundation for Northern Virginia and Inova Health System partnered to present the third annual "Let's Move the Needle on Childhood Obesity Summit." This year's event highlighted successful programs as well as best practices to encourage more activity and better nutrition for children. Awards were presented to winning programs in recognition of their tremendous impact and the tangible, measurable results they achieve for children who participate.