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 underprivilegedchildren in the community.

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

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

"I like making more friends and learning more thingsabout 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 hasbrought in about 20 underprivileged kids from the community.

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

"By the time they get to it, it's acompetition and they don't enjoy it because they are not confident they knowhow to do it," he said.

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

"We haveguest speakers, we had two this afternoon, we usually get speakers from thehealth facilities," Grant said.

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

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

And alongwith healthy habits they also learn life lessons.

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

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

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