Friday, February 22, 2019
Healthy Children & Families Program Event: A Multi-Faith Effort to Improve Health Outcome
We had a great turnout for our Healthy Children & Families program event on January 12th. We recognized Mt.Zion C.M.E, Agape Love Christian Center, New Covenant Christian Ministries, Iglesia de Dios, St. Jerome H.A.N.D.S Community Center, Evangelical Christian Church, St. Angela Merici Catholic Church, and Word of Life International Church for participating in the Healthy Children, Healthy Families program in 2018.
On Saturday, January 12th, 28 multi-faith leaders gathered at the Church of God of Prophecy to recognize the impact of the Healthy Children, Healthy Families program, on the children, families and faith based organizations that participated. It also highlighted key aspects of the program for those interested to learn more. This health program has broad appeal across all faiths. Four masjid leaders interested in the program attended, making this Bronx Health REACH’s first multi-faith event.
Bronx Health REACH recognized the eight faith-based organizations who implemented the program in 2018. The organizations honored include: Mt.Zion C.M.E, Agape Love Christian Center, New Covenant Christian Ministries, Iglesia de Dios, St. Jerome H.A.N.D.S Community Center, Evangelical Christian Church, St. Angela Merici Catholic Church, and Word of Life International Church.
Since December 2018, eight faith based partners have run the eight week program for children (ages 8-12) and their parents/caregivers, to increase healthy eating and active living and reduce high rates of obesity in the Bronx. Loyce Godfrey, Bronx Health REACH faith and nutrition consultant, and Cheikhou Ann, Muslim Community Health Leader, spoke about the connection between faith, food and health from both Christian and Muslim perspectives. They emphasized the connection of religious values to health.
Taleek Norman from Kids in the Game led attendees in fun, interactive fitness activities.
Evy Torres, Peer Health Coordinator who led the program at Evangelical Christian Church spoke passionately about her experience teaching healthy behaviors to children and families. She explained, “The beauty of this program is being able to empower our children and unify the family.” Two children from her church who participated in the program shared their personal experience with the audience. One child shared his deep admiration for the fitness coach; and another told the group about her nutrition lessons and the confidence she has gained by participating in the program.
To illustrate aspects of the physical activity component of the actual workshops, Maurelhena Walles and Taleek Norman from Kids in the Game led attendees in fun, interactive fitness activities. In each workshop, Kids in the Game provides fitness activities that families can integrate into their daily lives.
We congratulate all those who participated in 2018, and are excited in 2019 to welcome new faith based partners looking to improve the health of their members!
If you are part of a faith-based organization that would like to participate in Healthy Children, Healthy Families in spring 2019, contact Yolanda Benitez at (212) 633-0800 ext. 1344.