HEAL Appalachia Announces Community Grant Awards


Programs supporting childhood obesity prevention initiatives awarded funding

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. – HEAL Appalachia is awarding funding for grassroots effort that support new or existing efforts to reduce childhood obesity in Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia. HEAL Appalachia encourages program partners to incorporate the 5-2-1-0 message into their programs.

Following a competitive review process, 19 non-profit organizations will receive community grants in the amounts of $2,000 and $5,000. The funding for the HEAL Appalachia Community Grants program is provided by Mountain States Health Alliance as one of its many regional community benefit efforts.

“Mountain States is committed to improving the health of the communities it serves,” said Joanna Swinehart, Social Responsibility Coordinator for Mountain States. “The programs that come out of the HEAL Appalachia Community Grants program are an effective way to allow individual organizations find creative ways to address the health issues they see every day.”

Programs that were awarded funding for the 2014 year include:

Level 1 - $5,000

  1. Virginia Cooperative Extension: Family Nutrition Program - Healthy Weights for Healthy Kids and 5-2-1-0 in Scott, Buchanan, Lee, Smyth and Wise Counties: Third through fifth graders in Buchanan, Lee, Scott, Smyth, and Wise counties receive six lessons from “Healthy Weights for Healthy Kids” evidenced-based curriculum teaching "smart" foods, drinks, and activities. – located in Abingdon, Va.

  2. Wise County Health Department – 5210 - Track your Fitness: “Track your Fitness will incorporate broader usage of the school track, with new lighting and HEAL Appalachia 5210 signage, to increase opportunities for physical activity at L.F.A Middle School. – located in Wise, Va.

  3. St. Mary’s School – St. Mary’s Wellness Council Programming: SMS will be working to improve access to physical activity with an outdoor fitness trail, as well as increased classroom activity with resources for teachers to incorporate into the curriculum. – located in Johnson City, Tenn.

  4. Bluff City Middle School - 5-2-1-0 = BCMS: To teach lifetime recreational activities to include fishing and archery while using our school 5210 motto school wide. (B-be Active, C- count 5, M- more exercise, S- stop sugar which stands for Bluff City Middle School) – located in Bluff City, Tenn. 

Level 2 - $2,000

  1. Kingsport CSH - Taste the Rainbow: Students will taste a new fruit or vegetable each week. Every month will be assigned a specific color & sampled foods will be from the color of the month. – located in Kingsport, Tenn. 
  1. Teen Venture, Inc. – Teens in Training: The Teen Venture Center will provide 8-week programs to adolescent girls (ages 10-17) that will focus on physical health, wellness, and healthy eating habits while training for a 5K event. – located in Richlands, Va. 
  1. Carter County Schools, Coordinated School Health – Third Annual Family Fun Fitness Day: Family Fun Fitness Day incorporates family physical activity and nutrition education into a fun filled day that promotes use of Tennessee's State Parks. – located in Elizabethton, Tenn. 
  1. Boys & Girls Club of Greeneville & Greene County – Gardening for our Health: Our Gardening Program has educated many club members on healthy eating and basic gardening principles, who otherwise might not have had the accessibility to a garden. – located in Greeneville, Tenn. 
  1. Johnson City Community Health Center - My Food Our Food, a community garden; integrating healthcare and well care at JCCHC: The JCCHC seeks to create a community garden which will allow patients with limited funds and transportation immediate access to fresh fruits and vegetables to prevent or manage chronic diseases. – located in Johnson City, Tenn. 
  1. Boys & Girls Club of Elizabethton/Carter County – Triple Play: Triple Play strives to improve the overall health of members, ages 6-18, by increasing their daily physical activity, teaching them good nutrition and helping them develop healthy relationships. – located in Elizabethton, Tenn. 
  1. Mountain Kids, Inc. – Kids Camps and Community Projects: Mountain Kids, Kids Camps encourage campers to participate in active play, surrounded by nature. Community members will join together to build a playground and low-ropes course, prior to camp. – located in North Tazewell, Va. 
  1. Girls on the Run, Northeast Tennessee – Girls on the Run, Southwest Virginia: GOTRNETN, a character development program which combines healthy living education with training for a 5K, will provide 37 scholarships for participation in the 12-week after-school program in Southwest Virginia. – located in Washington County, Va., and Scott County, Va. 
  1. YWCA, Bristol – KID-FIT: KID-FIT™ is a highly acclaimed national physical education program designed to instill healthy lifestyle habits in children ages 2-5. The curriculum teaches young children about exercise, nutrition, and proper rest. – located in Bristol, Tenn. 
  1. YMCA, Erwin – Kids Community Garden:  The YMCA Kids Community Garden is designed to improve kids’ attitudes towards healthy foods and encourage preference for fruits and vegetables. The garden promotes a lifetime of healthy choices. – located in Erwin, Tenn. 
  1. Northeast Tennessee Cooperative (NETCO) – Switch It, Swap It, Choose Health: Students from fourteen districts participate in interactive learning sessions concluding with a 6 week habit-building pledge to SW-IT-CH sweetened drinks with water and low-fat milk. – located in Johnson City, Tenn. 
  1. Smyth County Healthy Action Team – Family Fitness Challenge: Focuses on childhood obesity in Smyth County by promoting healthy eating and physical activity. Nutrition classes and activity sessions will provide education to reinforce healthy habits for the whole family. – located in Marin, Va. 
  1. Elizabethton City Schools Extended School Program, Harold McCormick Elementary – Kids in Motion: ESP is dedicated to the academic and physical enrichment of children serviced by Elizabethton City Schools attending grades PK - 5. – located in Elizabethton, Tenn. 
  1. Appalachian Sustainable Development – Planting the Fruits of a Healthy Future: Planting fruit trees, third grade students will better understand healthy food and supplement their education with hands-on learning. An activity kit and curriculum will help others to do the same. – located in Abingdon, Va. 
  1. St. Charles Health Council - A Multifaceted Childhood Obesity Prevention Program in Four Primary Care Clinics: A multifaceted program targeting children and families to address nutrition, screen time, and exercise. The interventions include visual media and psycho-education promoting the 5210 principles in a primary care setting. – located in Haysi, Va.

5-2-1-0 stands for:

5 or more servings of fruits or veggies each day

2 hours or less of recreational screen time

1 hour or more of exercise

0 sugary drinks

About HEAL Appalachia

Healthy Eating, Active Living (HEAL) Appalachia was formed in 2009 by Mountain States Health Alliance (MSHA) and East Tennessee State University (ETSU), along with regional partners, to address childhood obesity. We aim to inspire others to think outside the box to address childhood obesity by providing community grants, educational opportunities and forming collaboratives throughout the region. For more information see www.healappalachia.com.

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