Texas State Alliance of YMCAs strongly believe that we share the responsibility of ensuring a healthy, bright future for all Texas children. As one of the nation’s largest afterschool and childcare providers, the Y offers full-day or partial-day programs to children every day. With that in mind, we fully understand how much we can potentially impact children’s health.
On November 14th, the Texas State Alliance of YMCAs convened in Dallas to attend the Dallas YMCA's Key Leaders Luncheon and our annual CEOs Meeting. During the meeting, Y CEOs across the state discussed ways to collaborate with partner organizations to reduce childhood obesity in Texas.
Bert Ruiz, YMCA of the USA Program Manager for its Chronic Disease Prevention Program, presented useful information and resources to aid in the implementation of the Healthy Eating and Physical Activity (HEPA) standards. When fully executed, HEPA standards will demonstrate the Y’s commitment to being one of the largest and healthiest providers of early childhood education and afterschool programming in the nation.
Also, Barbara Johnson, Dallas Independent School District (DISD) Director of Physical Education and Health, shared the importance of partnership among local Ys and school districts via School Health Advisory Councils (SHAC)s. She stressed that community partnerships are critical in shaping health, nutrition, and physical activity policies for youth. Cheryl Boswell, the Vice President of Community Health and Well-Being at the YMCA of Metropolitan Dallas who also co-Chairs the DISD SHAC, reinforced the idea of the potential impact the Y can make in strengthening public health.
Y CEOs across Texas also discussed opportunities to improve statewide collaboration in fundraising efforts. Last year, through our collective fundraising efforts the Texas State Alliance of YMCAs provided over $25 million in financial assistance and free programs.