· The California School-Based Health Alliance, in partnership with West Contra Costa Y, applied for a new project called Hallways to Health. This project is led by the School-Based Health Alliance as part of a national, multi-state campaign with Kaiser Permanente (KP) known as Thriving Schools. The project aims to have students, staff, and teachers focus on making healthy choices. The ‘Thriving Schools- Hallways to Health’ grant award includes a $90,000, two-year funding. The funding source will help students, their families and school staff in Richmond make healthier choices in the areas of obesity prevention, social & emotional health and school employee wellness. The West Contra Costa program will be centered in the YMCA-led Wellness Center at Kennedy High School in Richmond, as a collaborative project with Kaiser Permanente, Contra Costa Health Services and other community partners.
· Another Thriving Schools grant of $23,000 was awarded by the Kaiser Permanente Northern California Community Benefit Programs to enable the YMCA to help students, teachers and staff in six West Contra Costa County schools to eat healthier and increase their current level of physical activity. The program has demonstrated that it can have a positive impact on the health of the community and may also boost academic and professional performance.
· The YMCA also received an ‘Advancing Safe Routes to School’ grant by Contra Costa Health Services in the amount of $14,580. The YMCA Wellness Center at Kennedy High School is being charged to engage youth in critical thinking, problem solving and community-based research in order to address and identify issues related to access and barriers to safe routes for children to walk or bicycle to school, as a means of everyday exercise. This project will be funded through June of 2014.
· Contra Costa Health Services also awarded a grant in the amount of $44,170.50 to enable the Y to implement a Nutrition & Physical Activity Promotion Project that will specifically address and identify issues revolving around access to healthy foods/beverages and recognizing barriers for physical activity in the Richmond Community. The research project will be led by Kennedy High students with support from YMCA Wellness Center staff. The project is through September 2014.
“The YMCA of the East Bay is especially pleased with these grants because they are targeted to support several of the most beneficial programs that the West Contra Costa Y is currently managing,” said Robert Wilkins, President and CEO of the YMCA of the East Bay.
About the East Bay Y System:
The YMCA of the East Bay is one of Northern California's largest non-profit trainers and deployers of volunteers. Last year, the East Bay YMCA trained more than 500 volunteers in programs ranging from childcare to teen enrichment, health and wellness and cultural harmony. With nine branches and almost 50 childcare centers in operation from Fremont to the Yolo County, the East Bay YMCA Association also has the largest geographic reach of any YMCA operation in North America. Formed as a 501 (c) (3) corporation on July 20, 1879, the not-for-profit East Bay YMCA operates branches in downtown Oakland, Fremont, Newark, Hayward, Castro Valley, Richmond, and Dublin, as well as camps in Livermore, Pescadero (San Mateo County) and Redway (Humboldt County). All locations are for youth development, healthy living and social responsibility.