FCS developed Healthy Buddies in response to the startling increase in childhood obesity nationwide and the growing numbers of young children and adolescence who are at-risk for obesity here in New Jersey.
Mimicking the format of our Reading Buddies childhood literacy program, Healthy Buddies partners senior volunteers with students, grades 3-5, to help them develop the knowledge, skills, attitudes and behaviors needed to maintain and enjoy a healthy lifestyle.
Using an evidence-based curriculum, specially trained volunteers guide students in making healthy choices by leading nutrition lessons, engaging in physical activities and providing healthy snacks. Each volunteer works with the same small class of students every week throughout the school year. This unique partnership helps promotes healthy lifestyle experiences that can be shared across generations, bringing empathy and compassion to a topic sometimes fraught with anxiety and frustration.
“The kids absolutely love the program. They look forward to the healthy buddies coming in each week and they really take in everything they say.” – Kristin Krupa, Third Grade teacher at Bradley Beach Elementary School
Healthy Buddies, which began in two underserved Monmouth County schools in 2012-2013 school year, expanded to four schools during the 2013-2014 school year. The program now has 16 senior volunteers who teach the Healthy Buddies curriculum to more than 175 students, in eight classrooms.
If you are interested in becoming a Healthy Buddy volunteer, apply online or call our office at 732-222-9111.