Monday , June 24 2024
IEHP Community Wellness Center adds new kids program

IEHP Community Wellness Center adds new kids program

San Bernardino youth can now enjoy the Sports Play and Active Recreation For Kids (SPARK) program at their local Inland Empire Health Plan (IEHP) Community Wellness Center.

Launched last month, classes run the first Saturday of every month from 10-11 a.m. and every other Tuesday from 11 a.m.-noon. There is no cost to attend. Curriculum is tailored to children ages 4-11, but families with children of all ages are welcome.

“We are trying to be more intentional with how we reach out to parents with young children,” said Jackie Loya, an IEHP health educator. “Our San Bernardino CWC population is diverse, so we are looking to expand programming that is more family oriented.”

SPARK was founded in 1989 by Drs. Jim Sallis and Thom McKenzie to improve children’s health. The program has been adopted at educational and community-based sites across the country, with classes focused on teaching children (and their families) to:

  • Enjoy and seek out physical activity.
  • Develop and maintain acceptable levels of physical fitness.
  • Learn basic movement and skills intended to support long-term success.
  • Create connections with others in a “movement environment.”

Childhood obesity is an increasing issue across the U.S. In San Bernardino County42.6% of students tested in 2019 were considered overweight or obese, with 23% considered to be far outside a healthy range. A 2022 Needs Assessment conducted by IEHP showed being “overweight” or “obese” was the number one diagnosis across the health plan’s member population.

IEHP’s Community Wellness Centers have become a hub for area residents to discover the benefits of exercise and education as well as create connections.

“We want to provide our members with these tools, so they can apply what they learned at our classes with others in the community and within their own family unit,” Loya said.

IEHP’s San Bernardino Community Wellness Center is located at 805 W. Second St. and is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m.-6 p.m. and Saturday from 8:30 a.m.-1 p.m.

To learn more about the CWC or SPARK, go to iehp.org or call 866-228-4347 ext. 4.

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