Boys & Girls Clubs look to improve kids' health

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Hillary Gavan/Beloit Daily NewsBoys and Girls Clubs kids Siiarra Jackson, staff member Dallen McAtee and Cayden Romero play "rock, paper, scissors" after jumping after racing to jump through hoops. The organization received a new $5,000 grant to implement more programming on healthy choices, nutrition and an active lifestyle.

BELOIT - The Stateline Boys & Girls Clubs have the mind, body and soul covered.

Thanks to a new $5,000 grant to improve the health and well-being of Stateline Area kids awarded by the Anthem Foundation and Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield Foundation kids will receiving expanded programming on nutrition, an active lifestyle and healthy choices.

"We are incredibly grateful for the support and partnership of Anthem Foundation and Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield Foundation, because without their support we would not be able to impact so many kids and teens each year," said Stateline Boys & Girls Clubs CEO Mark Rand. "With this grant, we hope to continue to provide new and much needed healthy lifestyles programming to kids who need it most, and create a positive foundation for them to grow and thrive."

Rand said the Clubs have offered Triple Play curriculum in the past with success.

"This will allow us to enhance our existing programming," he said.

The grant is one of more than 100 distributed across the country by the Anthem Foundation to support Triple Play programming. Triple Play approaches wellness with a curriculum to help youth take charge of their personal health and wellness. Club members receive programming in a fun and engaging way.

Through its Healthy Generations grant program, Anthem Foundation and Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield Foundations work to identify the issues most in need of attention and then directs its financial support and volunteer efforts toward improving health in those areas.

Promoting youth health and active lifestyles is an ongoing focus of the foundations.

Rand said the Boys & Girls Clubs also receive United Way funding, the Wisconsin After 3 grants for computer and career education.

In Illinois the Club receives Teen REACH program assistance through the Illinois Department of Human Services. The Teen REACH (Responsibility, Education, Achievement, Caring and Hope) program focuses on after-school programing for teens. The clubs also receive local grants including one from Ecolab Foundation as well as federal dollars.

The Boys and Girls Clubs operate its Beloit and South Beloit sites in addition to seven school sites as well as partnering with Community Action to facilitate after school programming at the Merrill Community Center.

Last month's average attendance at all sites was 374 kids a day. Its total membership is 1,832.

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