CREATING BRIGHTER FUTURES
YMCA of San Gabriel Valley Fighting
The YMCA of San Gabriel Valley is starting its first ever session of the Earn a Bike program at Monte Vista Elementary School in West Covina. The initiative is designed to increase the amount of physical activity performed by elementary school-aged children and improve nutritional content of their diets in order to lower the rate of childhood obesity and Type 2 Diabetes in the community.
Thirty students from Monte Vista Elementary were hand selected by the elementary school’s Principal, Lilia Gonzalez-Gomez, to participate in 8 weeks of nutrition, fitness and bike safety programming that meets 4 times per week from February 9th – April 15th. Parents of the students will also take part and increase their awareness of family health by attending two nutrition classes. Successful completion of the program will be measured by the kids’ fitness levels and perceptions of healthy eating habits, culminating with a graduation ceremony on Friday, April 15th, where all kids will receive a new bike, helmet, and lock so they can continue to practice healthy living.
The Earn a Bike program has had tremendous success in past sessions in communities from Orange to Riverside Counties. Results have shown that participants in the program have not only improved their physical abilities, but also lowered their body mass index (BMI), a key indicator of obesity.
The YMCA of San Gabriel Valley believes that solutions to childhood obesity must be community-wide in order to combat this epidemic and is actively pursuing funding to expand the program to serve even more children and families in the future. Funding for Earn a Bike is raised through the YMCA’s Annual Campaign. Centered on community events and staff and volunteer giving, the initiative is vital to help deliver this program which has been growing throughout Southern California since its initial session at Whittier Elementary School (Costa Mesa) in 2013.
To learn more about the Earn a Bike program, visit www.ymcaoc.org/earn-bike.
Read the official press release here.