A $25,000 state grant will fund a bilingual program at Carlin Springs Elementary School designed to teach healthy eating habits to children and their families.
The Healthy Meals for Healthy Families program includes weekly classes for at-risk students in the third, fourth and fifth grades at Carlin Springs.
"…We are excited about winning this grant, which will fund a program at Carlin Springs Elementary that will not only educate our children and families — but ultimately change behaviors to promote life-long healthy eating and healthy living," Arlington County Board Chairman Walter Tejada said in a statement.
Nearly one in three children are overweight or obese in America, a rate that has tripled over the past three decades, Tejada stated. The numbers are higher for African-American or Hispanic communities.
The chairman's agenda for the year includes a campaign to promote healthy lifestyles.
Participants in the Carlin Springs program will be taught practical nutrition tips — how and where to buy healthy and affordable raw ingredients, for instance, according to a county news release. The classes will also teach how to prepare food safely and the benefits of family meals.
The program will start late this year or early next year and conclude in June. It is expected to produce a a curriculum and other educational resources that can be shared with other schools and groups interested in healthy eating and reducing pediatric obesity, the news release states.
“This is a tremendous opportunity to teach our students about making positive choices that will help them and their families lead a healthier lifestyle,” Arlington Public Schools Superintendent Pat Murphy said in a statement.