The Fit for Kids Funders’ Consortium is offering $300 mini-grants to Kane County School Parent Teacher Organizations that sponsor the International Walk to School Day for their school, according to a Kane County Health Department release.
Schools that serve Kane County elementary and middle school students are invited to participate.
Information on how to apply for the Fit for Kids Funders’ Consortium grant is found on the Making Kane County Fit for Kids website at www.makingkanefitforkids.org, according to the release.
Each participating school will plan its own event, the release states. Local schools have used Walk to School Day to raise awareness of the need for safer routes for walking and bicycling and to emphasize the importance of issues such as increasing physical activity among children.
In 2011, International Walk to School Day was celebrated at more than 4,000 events at schools across the United States, along with children and adults in 40 countries around the world, according to the release. In Kane County, about 27,000 students from 49 schools participated.
The 2011 Community Health Assessment of Kane County residents showed that 32 percent of children are either overweight or obese, the release states. “By encouraging the simple act of walking to school, we may be able to change some habits, increase physical activity and reverse the epidemic of childhood obesity,” said Michael Isaacson, assistant director of community health for the Kane County Health Department.
The Making Kane County Fit for Kids campaign is a public-private partnership. The Fit for Kids Funders Consortium has raised and distributed more than $330,000 to community organizations to make policy and environmental changes to reverse the epidemic of childhood obesity in Kane County.
In January 2011, the Fit Kids 2020 Plan was released to guide efforts to reverse the epidemic over the next decade. Fit Kids 2020 was developed by parents, physicians, engineers, educators, planners, public health professionals, transportation experts, faith leaders, local policy makers and parents.
The Fit for Kids Funders Consortium is composed of the Community Foundation of the Fox River Valley, United Way of Elgin, the Kane County Forest Preserve District, the Kane County Regional Office of Education and Kane County Departments of Health, Transportation and Development.
For more information contact Jane Maxwell, Fit Kids coordinator, at 1-630-444-3425.
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