UnitedHealth Heroes Grant Awarded in Fort Bend to Fight Childhood Obesity

Michael Wang, Sean Ostrander and Rio de Armas.

Michael Wang, Sean Ostrander and Rio de Armas.

Shape Up Sugar Land-Youth Committee (SUSL) received a $1,000 UnitedHealth HEROES grant for its Walking for Health project, where the Youth Committee will conduct an after-school program for kids at Armstrong Elementary School Extended Day program.   UnitedHealth HEROES is a wellness initiative developed by UnitedHealthcare and YSA (Youth Service America) designed to encourage young people, working with educators and youth leaders, to create and implement walking, running or hiking programs aimed at helping fight childhood obesity.

The Youth Committee will be responsible for delivering and implementing the program at Armstrong Elementary, and they will be meeting with these children at the Extended Day program at least once a month to educate them about the importance of being physically active and leading a healthy lifestyle.

In February, the Youth Committee provided the kids with walking logs and pedometers to encourage them to walk daily and record their minutes of activity. The boys were challenged to walk 13,000 steps, and the girls were challenged to walk 11,000 steps. The kids will receive “incentives” such as jump ropes, pencils or water bottles if they achieve their goals.

Michael Wang, co-chair of the Youth Committee, along with Rio de Armas and Sean Ostrander, members of the Youth Committee, also performed a quick survey to determine which activities the children really enjoyed. They discovered that most kids at Armstrong Extended Day program love to play basketball or soccer.

The SUSL Youth Committee will follow up each month until Global Youth Service Day at the end of April, when they will hold a celebration ceremony for the children who participated in the walking challenge. The SUSL Youth Committee worked with Elsa Villarreal, Parent Resource Center Coordinator, at Armstrong Elementary on this project.

The mission of Shape Up Sugar Land is to connect the community, raise awareness and encourage activities that foster healthy lifestyles.