Rural FitKids program underway in Greenville


By Kelli Ameling • Last Updated 10:06 am on Friday, September 28, 2012

GREENVILLE — The Rural FitKids program is up and running in Greenville to promote healthy living for students and their families.

In May, Spectrum Health United Lifestyles received $450,000 to fund the Rural FitKids Program in Montcalm, Newaygo and Osceola counties through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The first class for the Rural FitKids Program in Greenville started Wednesday at Baldwin Heights Elementary School.

“We had a really good turnout,” said Jennifer DenOuden, director of marketing and communications at Spectrum Health United Hospital.

During Wednesday night’s class, Chief Instructor at Integrity Martial Arts Keith Swanson taught leadership values, confidence and self esteem through martial arts to the participants.

“We have had a really good response,” said Jodie Faber, United Lifestyles executive director, noting more students signed up than she was expecting.

Rural FitKids Program was developed to address childhood obesity.

The program combines basic education about nutrition, behavior and exercise with a wide range of physical activities with a goal to provide an effective solution for overweight children who have been unable to make positive changes on their own.

Faber stresses the Rural FitKids Program is not a weight-loss program, but a healthier-lifestyles program. The students keep a daily log on about their physical activities, nutrition and screen time.

The program is a three-year program that will have two sessions per year.

Faber thanked Greenville Public Schools for donating a place for the program to take place.

“We couldn’t have done it without them,” she said.

For more information on the Rural FitKids Program, call Faber at (616) 754-6185.

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