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Healthiest You! Challenge: Washington, DC, program helps children make positive health and wellness choices

Children's National Health System, Washington Mystics (WNBA), and Smithsonian's Anacostia Community Museum Partner to Improve Children's Health and Wellness and Reduce Disparities in DC

Mystics Partnership

Washington, DC – On June 29, three community partners launched a school pilot program at the District of Columbia’s Public School’s (DCPS) Savoy Elementary to address health, fitness, safety, and academic excellence. 

Many of Washington, DC’s children live in low-income areas of the city that don’t always have easy access to healthcare, healthy food options, and safe, clean, and inviting spaces for exercise.

Children’s National Health System, Washington Mystics (WNBA), and Smithsonian’s Anacostia Community Museum will be working together to address that disparity and to provide a variety of entertaining and activity-based programs that focus on fitness, health, and academic excellence.

“At Children’s National we want every child to have the best chance for a bright future, especially for the children in our Washington, DC, hometown,” stated Kurt Newman, MD, President and CEO of Children’s National. “Working with partners like the Smithsonian’s Anacostia Community Museum, Monumental Sports, and Savoy Elementary School, we hope to give children the tools and information to form healthy ideas and habits and to have fun along the way.” 

DCPS students enrolled in the Smithsonian’s Anacostia Museum Academy Program (MAP) will be the active participants in this summer pilot program that could lead to a full 2015-2016 school year campaign. The Museum Academy Program is a longstanding cultural arts educational enrichment program for youth ages seven to eleven. 

“The Museum Academy Program of the Smithsonian’s  Anacostia Community Museum has been a mainstay of our educational and outreach initiatives since 1999, affording unique learning opportunities to hundreds of local youth in Washington’s Ward 7 and Ward 8 communities,” said Camille Akeju, Museum Director. “Through its hands-on programming and custom curriculum, MAP has received local and national attention for excellence in arts and cultural education in an out-of-school time setting. We appreciate this wonderful opportunity to empower our program youth to make healthier choices.”

Although there will be a number of activities throughout the school year, a concentrated series of events will occur this summer. Program activities will include health education classes from Children’s National and other partners including:

  • Nutrition and food demonstrations from KiPOW, a health and wellness mentor program
  • Sports safety and concussions lead by Safe Kids DC and Children’s SCORE program
  • Asthma, lungs, and breathing from IMPACT DC
  • Art therapy from Being Me

The students will learn about bicycle and road safety from the Washington Area Bicyclist Association and will get to take a field trip to the Verizon Center and see the WNBA’s Washington Mystics.

This program is intended to support and encourage children to have fun and make healthy choices.

Contact: Emily Hartman or Caitlyn Camacho at 202-476-4500.


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