With safety as the primary driver for our work with children and youth, other important aspects of a healthy and fulfilling life could easily fall to the wayside. Physical health and education are two areas that we believe to be critical to the lifelong development of the kids in our care and therefore give particular time and attention to them.
In 2011, CEDARS launched a wellness program with the generous support of the Community Health Endowment in Lincoln. The program focuses on helping youth in out-of-home care develop and attain goals in the areas of nutrition and fitness and introduces youth to a variety of fitness activities.
Each month nutrition specialists and dieticians visit our various program sites to demonstrate how to properly cook and prepare a variety of vegetables and other healthy foods and instruct youth on how to maintain a nutritious diet. Physical fitness is coached onsite and youth are also given opportunities to attend local fitness facilities. Additionally, our staff has implemented agency wide activities to promote physical fitness, including a fun staff versus youth kickball tournament.
Since the program’s beginning, 1,369 youth have participated in the program.