Community center helps teach healthy habits - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Community center helps teach healthy habits

BATESVILLE, AR (KAIT)- A Batesville community center received a grant to sponsor their first summer basketball youth camp called Healthy Hoops.

Ethel O. Miller Community Center received a grant of $1,700 to start the Healthy Hoops program for underprivileged children in the community.

"I like basketball," said 9-year-old Kori Davidson."They work you hard but you just gotta stand up to it and have fun and it's fun."

Kids in the Healthy Hoops program learn more than just lay-ups and free throws they also learn healthy habits.

"I like making more friends and learning more things about basketball and being better," said Ethan Ridgel, a 10-year-old who attends the program.

The community center was awarded the grant from the Arkansas Black Hall of Fame. Program Coordinator Ralph Grant said so far the 5 week program has brought in about 20 underprivileged kids from the community.

"We try to teach the kids the very basic ideas of basketball, give them the concepts. Most of the kids have not played basketball before," Grant said. 

"By the time they get to it, it's a competition and they don't enjoy it because they are not confident they know how to do it," he said.

Each week the kids take a time out from playing basketball to learn about health habits.

"We have guest speakers, we had two this afternoon, we usually get speakers from the health facilities," Grant said.

Last week, a nutritionist spoke to the kids about keeping a healthy diet and on Wednesday the local paramedics highlighted ways to avoid heat exhaustion during the summer.

"We try to give them good healthy food and some healthy habits," he said. 

And along with healthy habits they also learn life lessons.

"We want them to understand team work, life is a team sport, you get by and you get better the more you work as a team," Grant said.

Kids attend the program three times a week for five weeks. Grant says they are hoping next year's summer program is even bigger.

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