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Children's Department

JCC continus to enroll pre-teens in free "healthy lifestyles" class
Program extended through June 2015

The JCC of Syracuse continues to enroll fifth and sixth graders in its weekly Healthy Bodies class held on Tuesdays from 3:15-4:15 p.m. at its location on 5655 Thompson Rd., DeWitt. After-class care and activities are included, and children must be picked up by 6 p.m. The coed classes, part of the JCC’s After School Program, are designed to engage pre-teens, or “tweens,” to help them acquire and maintain healthy lifestyle habits through good nutrition and fitness.

Photo of a pre-teen girl running.Enrollment in the classes is free thanks to a grant from the Jim and Juli Boeheim Foundation. The program has been extended to run through June and can accommodate up to 30 participants. Parents may enroll their kids at anytime as long as there are openings available. The Jamesville-DeWitt school district provides busing directly from J-D Middle School. Busing also may be available for students from East-area City of Syracuse Schools and eastern-suburb public and private schools. 

“In general, children in the U.S. today are less physically active and gaining more weight than ever before,” said Mick Hagan, JCC’s director of Children and Teen Services. “We want to take some positive steps here in our community to change this trend. That’s why we’re really excited to be able to offer this program to help kids develop good eating and exercise habits now so they’ll be more likely to continue these healthy behaviors as adults.”

During each weekly class, the children will participate in healthy nutrition and physical fitness activities. The class will set nutrition and physical activity goals, and measure its progress toward these throughout the five-month program. The physical activity will include walking or running on the JCC Sports & Fitness Center’s indoor track. There will also be opportunities for the pre-teens to socialize with each other and discuss their ideas on being healthy. In addition, a special session will be held during one class each month to focus on a special interest area. These special interest meetings may include a fitness class, guest speakers such as a nutritionist and other healthcare professionals, and a cooking class on preparing healthy meals and snacks.

“Supporting middle school students and being a positive influence on their health and well being during such formative years is very important these days,” said Marci Erlebacher, JCC of Syracuse executive director. “We’re extremely appreciative of the Jim and Juli Boeheim Foundation’s support for our Healthy Bodies Program and helping us to be a force for good in children’s lives.”

For more information and to sign up for the JCC of Syracuse’s Healthy Bodies Program, contact Erin Hart at 315-445-2040, ext. 133, or