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Michigan AmeriCorps’ Safe Routes to Health team is launching three Newaygo County programs targeting healthier lifestyles: A preschool story time, a yoga series for adults, and nutrition education for seniors.

“By collaborating with Camp Newaygo, the Newaygo Area District Library, the Newaygo County Commission on Aging and others, Safe Routes to Health will help improve the health, well-being and physical activities of Newaygo County residents,” said Jocelyn Hayward, AmeriCorps Program Coordinator with the Michigan Fitness Foundation. “Everyone needs a minimum of 150 minutes a week of physical activity. Safe Routes to Health will help local residents reach that goal.”

Safe Routes to Health, which is based at Camp Newaygo, is offering:

  • Health Through Literacy: Newaygo Preschool Story Time. The healthy reading sessions are 11 a.m. Tuesdays from January 8 to 29 at Newaygo Area District Library, 44 North State Road in Newaygo. For children ages 2 to 7 years old and their caregivers, the free sessions include a physical activity break and a craft. For more information, contact Carly at (231) 652-6723 or email newys@llcoop.org.
  • Newaygo Rec-Connect: January Yoga Series at 10 a.m. on Wednesdays from January 9 to 30 in the Health & Leadership Lodge at Camp Newaygo, 5333 South Centerline Road in Newaygo.  The drop-in classes with a yoga instructor are for adults and have limited capacity. There is no cost to participate, but donations are welcome. For more details, contact John at (231) 652-1184 or email joom@michiganfitness.org.
  • White Cloud Fresh Conversations is an interactive, eight-week nutrition education program for seniors hosted with the Newaygo County Commission on Aging. The series shares samples of low-cost healthy recipes and ways to stay active. It takes place Mondays starting January 28 from 11 a.m. to noon at the Commission on Aging, 93 South Gibbs Street in White Cloud. For more information, contact Maggie at (231) 652-1184 or email mshafter@michiganfitness.org. For help with transportation, contact the Commission on Aging at (231) 689-2100.

Through funding from the Michigan Community Service Commission, the administrative agent for Michigan’s AmeriCorps, the Michigan Fitness Foundation has partnered with Camp Newaygo to bring the Safe Routes to Health Program to Newaygo County. The initiative is hosted by local partners in four other counties as well in Muskegon, Berrien, Chippewa and Wayne.

The Safe Routes to Health AmeriCorps members serving Newaygo County are based in the Health & Leadership Lodge at Camp Newaygo, which is part of TrueNorth Community Services.  The members helped organize the inaugural Trick-or-Trot 5K Run/Walk in late October at Camp Newaygo and have been building community relationships to implement programs in 2019.

“We are thrilled to be working with the Michigan Fitness Foundation to implement the Safe Routes to Health Program” said Scott Lakin, Community Program Director at Camp Newaygo. “Fostering healthier living is a part of Camp Newaygo’s mission and adding programming with AmeriCorps is a great fit for our New Health and Leadership Lodge.”

Along with offering nutrition education, Safe Routes to Health will help Newaygo county residents take advantage of local low- to no-cost ways to stay physically active, including accessing Michigan’s vast network of trails.

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