Healthy U is a “Go” for the New School Year at the Gateway Family YMCA

The Gateway Family YMCA joins YMCAs throughout New Jersey in celebrating the annual Healthy U Fall kickoff in its youth programs on October 26th.

Elizabeth, NJ, October 30, 2017 –(– In New Jersey, one out of every three school age children is either overweight or obese putting them at risk of developing serious health problems later in life. The Healthy U program is the result of collaboration between The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey and the New Jersey YMCA State Alliance. Healthy U’s goal is to promote healthy behavior and to prevent childhood obesity through more physical activity, family involvement and nutrition education.

The purpose and goals of the Healthy U annual kickoff events are to:
– Demonstrate the positive, healthy impact of Healthy U
– Introduce new students and families to the many benefits of Healthy U
– Promote a three-pronged effort to combat childhood obesity through nutrition education, stepped up physical activity and family engagement

The Gateway Family YMCA kickoff event featured CATCH (Coordinated Approach to Child Health) activities and healthy snacks at all After School and Child Care locations, as well as participation in Lights on Afterschool, a nationwide event to celebrate afterschool programs.

“Healthy U is changing lives for the better,” said Robert A. Marino, Horizon BCBSNJ Chairman & CEO and Horizon Foundation Chairman. “Thousands of children who take part in Healthy U each day are learning why proper nutrition and physical activity are so important. These children are leading healthier, more productive lives.”

“Celebrating Healthy U in coordination with the annual Lights On Afterschool event is so important to raise the awareness of improving the health and well-being of children,” said Sue Cornell, Healthy U Director. “Healthy U positively impacts over 90,000 children ages 3 to 13 at 480 YMCA and 90 elementary school sites statewide. Healthy U is a unique asset to YMCA childcare education programming. All evidence indicates that well-nourished active children are more prepared to learn and thrive. We are thrilled to have The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey as a strong partner.”

“At The Gateway Family YMCA, we provide high quality school age child care programs that offer a balance between academic enrichment and health, recreational activities with a daily curriculum that includes physical activities and a healthy snack,” added Krystal R. Canady, CEO, The Gateway Family YMCA. The Y is the nation’s leading nonprofit committed to strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. #YHEALTHYU programs are provided at Before and After School Care, Child Care, Summer Day Camp programs and in local school programs organized by The Gateway Family YMCA.

Since Healthy U’s inception in 2008, The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey has invested more than $4.7 million to sustain the program through 2019. For more information on this program contact The Gateway Family YMCA or Sue Cornell, Healthy U Director, NJ YMCA State Alliance at [email protected] or visit

To learn more about #HealthyU and The Gateway Family YMCA, visit or contact the Elizabeth Branch 908-355-9622, Five Points Branch 908-688-9622, Rahway Branch 732-388-0057 or the Wellness Center Branch 908-349-9622 for more information.

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About the Author: Carrie Brunner

Carrie Brunner grew up in a small town in northern New Brunswick. She studied chemistry in college, graduated, and married her husband one month later. They were then blessed with two baby boys within the first four years of marriage. Having babies gave their family a desire to return to the old paths – to nourish their family with traditional, homegrown foods; rid their home of toxic chemicals and petroleum products; and give their boys a chance to know a simple, sustainable way of life. They are currently building a homestead from scratch on two little acres in central Texas. There’s a lot to be done to become somewhat self-sufficient, but they are debt-free and get to spend their days living this simple, good life together with their five young children. Carrie writes mostly on provincial stories.
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