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New Columbia Association Program Will Help Kids Be S.A.S.S.Y. By Staving Off Childhood Obesity

Columbia Association (CA) will be using a recently received grant to start a new program to help local kids be S.A.S.S.Y. — that is: successful, active, smart, strong youth.

Columbia Association (CA) will be using a recently received grant to start a new program to help local kids be S.A.S.S.Y. — that is: successful, active, smart, strong youth.

“Let’s Get S.A.S.S.Y,” which also plays off the abbreviation for CA’s School Age Services (SAS) programs, is being funded by a $40,000 grant from The Horizon Foundation, an independent philanthropic organization focused on improving the wellness of people living and working in Howard County.

The grant will help prevent childhood obesity at the 18 elementary schools and 3 middle schools with CA Before and After School Care, according to Theresa White, assistant manager of CA’s School Age Services programs.

“If we can help to educate children to make healthier choices as far as snacks and participating in physical fitness activities, then hopefully we can decrease the number of adults considered to be obese at the age of 18,” White said. “We have 1,300 students in our programs. We’re going to impact 1,300 students — and their families.”

The grant will address one of the Horizon Foundation’s priority areas of promoting positive lifestyles by improving healthful eating, drinking and physical activity. It will provide for staff training on health, nutrition and movement activities for children; ongoing lessons and activities in the curriculum on making healthy choices; substituting fresh fruits, vegetables and healthier snacks for those higher in sugar, salt, and/or fat; and providing structured group physical activities using equipment from GenMove After School Health and Activity Packs.

CA’s School Age Services offer elementary and middle school children a safe, secure haven where they can explore, learn and have fun. For more information, go to bit.ly/schoolageservices or call 410-715-3164.

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