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KidWords Awarded $13,000 Grant
KidWorks, a Santa Ana-based non-profit organization, was awarded a $13,000 grant from Kaiser Permanente Orange County on August 8th 2013, a California non-profit health and medical services organization. The grant was publicly recognized during KidWorks’ final day of youth summer programs at their community center in the Bishop Manor neighborhood of central Santa Ana.
The Kaiser Permanente grant will be earmarked to support KidWorks’ expansion of their Health & Fitness Program serving more than 300 children and parents living in four high-crime, low-income neighborhoods in the heart of Orange County.
“This grant will help offer obesity prevention and intervention activities to more at-risk children, youth, and parents—including fitness, sports, health education, nutrition, and public policy advocacy efforts,” says Ava Steaffens, KidWorks CEO. “For the past 20 years, KidWorks has been restoring at-risk neighborhoods in Santa Ana with a holistic approach that allows families to thrive in body, mind and spirit”.
In Santa Ana, one out of every three children is overweight or obese, a problem compounded by unsafe streets, high levels of asthma from pollution, and the modern sedentary childhood. Overweight children are more likely to become overweight or obese as adults. The effects of obesity on overall health are well-chronicled. High blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and certain types of cancer have all been linked to the crucial issue of weight.
“KidWorks addresses the disproportionate rates of obesity and overweight conditions among families in Santa Ana, by encouraging healthy eating and physical activity”, asserts Steaffens. “The choice to help these children and build healthier and stronger communities from the inside-out is one that starts with supporters like Kaiser Permanente.”
KidWorks will work in partnership with other health-promoting organizations including Illumination Foundation, St. Joseph’s Hospital, Children’s Hospital of Orange County, Birth Choice, Children’s Health Initiative of Orange County, Second Harvest Food Bank, Community Action Partnership- Orange County, Pure Game Soccer, Up & Running Again, Major League Baseball, Network for Healthy California, Healthy Smiles, The Grain Project, Orange County Health Care Agency, Human Options, and Latino Health Access.
Each partner will use their unique strengths to help children, youth, and parents increase their awareness of the issues influencing personal well-being. With the help of Kaiser Permanente’s financial support, more young people and families will develop health-promoting habits that lead to healthier lifestyles.