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Wednesday, Sep 28, 2022
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Diet and Exercise Tips Can Make Big Changes in Kids’ Lives

I was pleased and honored to be invited to participate in the third annual “Little Jumps…BIG Changes” campaign on Feb. 14 at the Roberts Family Branch of the Boys and Girls Clubs in Linda Vista. One of 17 locations in the county, the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater San Diego has three priority outcomes: academic success, character development and healthy lifestyles. February was devoted to teaching the boys and girls who attend the club how to improve their health through exercise and good nutrition. The Little Jumps…BIG Changes program is dedicated to the nationwide issue of increased obesity in children and adolescents. Statistics on childhood obesity from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are alarming indeed. In 2010, more than one-third of children and adolescents were overweight or obese. Both health issues are a result of too little exercise and too many calories, and can lead to long-term, serious health issues. The CDC also notes that less than one-third of school-aged children engage in physical activity that makes them sweat and increases their breathing and heart rate for at least 20 minutes — the minimum recommended.

I was invited by Jonathan Greene, the Clubs’ marketing and communications manager. My hosts at the Roberts Family Branch were Joe Sorenson, the branch leader, and Auggie Silva, who conducted the program with me and a group of kindergarten through second-graders. Silva led us through a number of quite innovative techniques to learn what healthy food is and what it does for your body. All of the children participated and were very eager to learn. I got a chance to lead the group briefly and participated in the “Angry Bird” question roundtable. It was a blast. The Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater San Diego serves 25,000 youth annually. To learn more, visit www.sdyouth.org.

Helen Woodward Animal Center’s AniMeals Program visited the Oceanside Senior Center recently to celebrate its new partnership with The Angel’s Depot. The partnership will provide pet food to low-income seniors, and it is being made possible through an anonymous donation by a family in honor of a woman who died in 2013.

AniMeals is a pet-food-on-wheels program that provides free regular meals for the dogs and cats of homebound elderly and disabled people. The program’s mission is to help keep people and their companion pets together by eliminating one of the logistical and financial impediments to proper pet care. The program was created in 1984 at Helen Woodward Animal Center. Today, the program works with five area Meals-on-Wheels centers and many other organizations, such as Aging & Independence Services, to serve more than 250 pets throughout San Diego County. Overwhelming research has shown that pets are a health benefit for their elderly owners, providing companionship, diversion and even a reason for living.

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Las Patronas recently provided a grant to Include Autism that funded the acquisition of a new van that brings youth with autism into the community daily for inclusive, skill-building experiences. Include Autism is a local nonprofit organization that provides community-based social behavior therapy services for children and teens with autism through its Community Coaching program.

“Our new van provides our program participants diagnosed with autism opportunities for access to the community” Include Autism’s Executive Director Tina Waters said. “We are so thankful to have made this connection with Las Patronas so we can continue supporting our kids and teens in becoming more connected and included in their communities.”

To learn more, visit www.includeautism.org.
Please email Kudos/Giving items to sglidden@sdbj.com.

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