Horizon Announces Grants to Combat Childhood Obesity
President & CEO Nicolette Highsmith Vernick has announced that The Horizon Foundation has awarded $300,000 in grants to address childhood obesity in Howard County. The three recipients are FIRN, a local nonprofit which assists foreign-born residents, the Howard County Health Department and the Howard County Public School System.
One in four children in Howard County is overweight or obese and these statistics are strikingly worse for children who are racially and ethnically diverse. Reversing the childhood obesity epidemic in Howard County is a strategic initiative of the foundation.
FIRN received $90,000 to develop a Community Health Worker program to promote healthier lifestyles among Latino families. Latinos have a significantly higher incidence of childhood obesity than the general population.
The Howard County Health Department was awarded a two-year grant of $86,000 per year to engage pediatricians and family physicians in obesity prevention, screening, counseling, and treatment. The training will include components related to calculating body mass index of patients and discussing sugary drink consumption with families during office visits. The project is expected to reach 200 providers and 400 families over two years.
A grant of $125,000 was given the Howard County Public School System to fund a real-time, web-based student health fitness assessment program for grades 4-9. The program will allow 180 certified physical education teachers to assess students’ fitness and collect fitness data. All 74 county schools will participate, benefiting over 23,000 Howard County students.
In keeping with its strategic plan, Horizon’s grantmaking focuses on promoting positive lifestyles that reduce obesity, increasing access to health care and testing innovations that improve health and wellness in the community. For information about the Horizon Foundation, visit www.thehorizonfoundation.org.
The Horizon Foundation is an independent philanthropy focused on improving the health and wellness of people living and working in Howard County. This is accomplished by implementing innovative programs, advocating for public policy changes, providing grants and making strategic partnerships to create catalytic change in Howard County.