Program Helps to Keep Kids Fit

A single mother of three, Tina Curtis of Charlotte has her hands full. When it comes to keeping her 12-year-old Alyvia, active, there's only so much she can do.

"One's doing one thing, another one's doing another, so we're kind of here and there," she said. "Things get pushed to the side."

That's why when she heard AL!VE fitness center was partnering with 'FITKids' nutrition and fitness program, she jumped on it. The free program for Lansing seventh and eighth graders serves as a way to keep them healthy and active.

It was started by Sparrow Hospital and MSU and now Hayes Green Beach Hospital, which runs AL!VE, wants to be a part of it too.

"If we can get to the kids when they're young and start to create healthy behaviors, ultimately they can have healthy habits as older adults," said Patrick Sustrich, Executive Director of AL!VE.

Now, AL!VE's FITKids program is getting ready to start November 12.

Step one will be checking the students' fitness and activity levels, along with things like cholesterol and nutritional knowledge. The following eight weeks, they will spend an hour-and-a-half after school, two days a week, rotating between three stations: Physical Activity, Nutrition Education and Healthy Snack Preparation.

"We want to teach them how to prepare simple after-school meals and snacks that they can do on their own and take the lead and be the ones that are teaching their parents," said Deb Dillon, R.D., a dietitian who is running the program.

The hope is that knowledge will lead to an overall healthier community. FITKids Program Coordinator R.J. Gibbs says that's what the expansion is all about.

"Hopefully, we can get these kids thinking about being healthier," he said. "We're going to move that marker up just a little bit and hope they stick with this long term."

To register for the FREE program, call MOVE at AL!VE at (517) 543-9575.


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