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Newark officials encouraging residents to experience the outdoors

June 21, 2016

Originally posted on FIOS1 Kicking off a local version of First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move! Outside” campaign Mayor Ras Baraka helped kick off Newark’s version of First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move! Outside” campaign, which includes projects and initiatives at parks nationwide. The goal is to fight childhood obesity and prepare young people to be stewards of the environment. SHARE:


Newark Launches Let’s Move! Outside Initiative

June 21, 2016

Originally posted on WBGO News By Ang Santos, WBGO News Newark. May 11, 2016 The city of Newark has launched First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! Outside Initiative, to promote health through outdoor family activities. David Jayo, senior advisor to the U.S. Secretary of the Interior says Newark was one of fifty selected priority cities to represent the Let’s Move! Outside Initiative. “It really came down to three unique attributes that Newark has.  One…amazing parks, really throughout the entire city, with Military Park right in the middle.  The second is incredible non-profit partners that are dedicated towards conservation, and recreation in youth.  The third is really incredible local leadership with a mayor that really cares deeply about this issue.” Mayor Ras Baraka says Newarkers can expect a series of park upgrades along with recreational activities to get kids outdoors. Newark YMCA president Michael Bright says the city can be a […]


Two to be honored by YMCA

May 22, 2016

Originally posted on by Cheryl Makin Bill Lovett and Mickey Gross named winners of prestigious awards Two community members are set to be honored at the 2016 Annual Dinner Meeting of the YMCA of Metuchen, Edison, and Woodbridge and South Amboy in May. William “Bill” Lovett and Michael “Mickey” Gross were named the recipients of two prestigious awards — the Charles S. Edgar Memorial Award and the Peter J. Barnes, Jr. Community Champion Award, respectively. For his outstanding work with the YMCA and the community, Lovett, currently the Executive Director of the New Jersey Alliance for YMCA’s, will receive the Charles S. Edgar Memorial Award. The Alliance is a not-for-profit association made up of 37 YMCA’s from throughout the state. Prior to this position, Lovett was the CEO of the YMCA of Metuchen, Edison, Woodbridge and South Amboy from 1988 until his retirement in 2012. According to the YMCA, the Charles S. Edgar Award recipient is […]


Mission-Specific: YMCA Conference Focuses on Social Responsibility

April 19, 2016

Originally posted on Communities move from awareness to action with local YMCA programs; meetinig looks at how to do more MONROE – A Saturday recreation program for children with autism and their families has helped families in Somerset County for 25 years. In Hunterdon County, a Citizen Study Group has helped 33 students become citizens since 2011. The Center for Support, Success and Prosperity has provided medical, spiritual, social and emotional services to Middlesex County’s homeless population for the past eight years. These varied programs have two key element in common: They take social responsibility seriously, and they happen at Central Jersey YMCAs. On Thursday, the YMCA’s mission of social responsibility —- and the different ways New Jersey’s Y’s are fulfilling that mission — brought more than 350 volunteers, Y employees and community partners together to discuss what is being done and what more can done to help those in need. In its third year, the Graham […]


New Jersey Healthy Communities Network announces $860G in grants

February 25, 2016

Originally posted on The New Jersey Healthy Communities Network, through a funding collaborative, awarded $860,000 to 43 nonprofit organizations to enhance the built environment and develop policies to support healthy eating and active living. Grant awards are $10,000 per year for two years, with the stipulation that action plans and goals are being met by the end of year one. “Our community grants program is made possible by the generous support of a funding collaborative,” said Bill Lovett, Executive Director of the New Jersey YMCA State Alliance. “Their support allows us to not only award grants, but also to provide technical assistance and to develop an evaluation tool to measure the impact of the work.” Each member of the funding collaborative provides both financial and in-kind contributions such as website development, administrative support, or GIS mapping skills, for example, to the collective impact model. The funding collaborative includes: Atlantic Health System, New Jersey […]


Which Big National Players Are Joining Forces to Make a Local Health Impact?

February 20, 2016

Originally posted on Inside Philanthropy by Tracey DeFrancesco The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation kicked off a new 10-year partnership with the YMCA on January 1, 2016, as part of its efforts to foster a “Culture of Health.” The collaboration is building on existing programs and introducing new initiatives by starting with a grant of just under $12 million over the next three years. With a presence in 10,000 neighborhoods across the United States, the YMCA is well positioned to coordinate a national strategy at the local level. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has a long history of working with the YMCA to promote healthy communities with actions such as creating more farmers markets, building sidewalks to encourage walking, and establishing smoke-free areas. The organizations have mapped out two areas of focus for the initial three years of the next decade. First is a project to advance a model of community-integrated […]


Pediatrician concerned children are at risk for diabetes, hypertension, liver disease

December 10, 2015

Originally published in The Sentinel A local pediatrician warned parents about the dangers of children facing the same diseases adults often are diagnosed with. Sandra G. Hassink, president of the American Academy of Pediatrics, spoke about “Childhood Obesity from the Perspective of a Pediatrician: Social Determinants of Health and Civil Rights Pertaining to Food Access and Physical Activity” during a program at the Pines Manor in Edison on Dec. 2. “We can’t build a culture of health without raising the value of a child in our society,” Hassink said during the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s New Jersey Partnership for Healthy Kids’ (NJPHK) Building a Culture of Health in New Jersey Conference. “We need to change the framework of how we think about children. As a pediatrician, I would have never thought that I would treat children with such illnesses as type 2 diabetes, hypertension, liver disease and many others that […]


Get a kid’s eye view of having fun on a bicycle

November 12, 2015

Originally posted on By Michael Mancuso Children were invited to come out to the Greenwood Avenue Farmers Market in Trenton on Monday for an afternoon of bike safety and fun. The Back to School “Bike Event” was sponsored by Greater Mercer Transportation Management Association. “In celebration of the back-to-school season, we were thrilled to partner with GMTMA to bring this event to the community,” said Marissa Davis, project manager of New Jersey Partnership for Healthy Kids. “Safety is an important part of healthy living; we want to make sure that children riding bikes know how to handle the bike and have the proper protection gear needed for a safe ride.” Once outfitted with a properly-sized helmet and matched to a bike suited to their size, participants took to a course set up on an asphalt  parking lot where they could practicing stopping, turning, and other bike skills with help […]


Valeria Galarza Woman of the Year

November 10, 2015

Originally posted in South Jersey Magazine by Rachel Morgan and Liz Hunter; Photo by Jeff Anderson Valeria Galarza (pictured) knows firsthand how important living a healthy lifestyle is—and she’s made it her life’s mission to impart this bit of wisdom on to South Jersey kids. This year’s Woman of the Year is the VP of Strategic Advancement for the YMCA of Burlington and Camden Counties, which includes the NJ Partnership for Healthy Kids-Camden (NJPHK-C), youth programs, public health programs, youth intervention, civic engagement and the Women’s Opportunity Center. Galarza also co-directs the NJPHK-C and helps spread the message of a healthy lifestyle for kids across the region, and is a new member of the Camden City Promise Zone Leadership Committee. In Galarza’s previous role as program director and project manager of NJPHK-C, she was responsible for daily operations, most notably, advocating for and leading local policy efforts that supported physical […]


Bone Run & Walk attracts record crowd

October 26, 2015

Originally posted in the Daily Journal Jodi Streahle, writer for the Daily Journal The air was cold enough to chill a body to the bone as a record amount of participants gathered Saturday morning at Parvin State Park for the annual Bone Run & Walk presented by The United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey. More than 750 participants lined up on Almond Road to embark on a 3-plus mile cross-country course around Parvin Lake. Many wore fun costumes and even more were armed with hats, ear warmers and gloves. There were superheroes, neon hair, wild socks and more. The course included scenic uphill trails, downhill trails and trails that were so tight they made passing fellow runners an art form. “I love to run here. It’s a beautiful course,” said Eric DuBois of Pittsgrove, who was the first runner to cross the finish line. Parvin State Park […]