Penacook Community Center is a great role model

By Shawn Lafrance / For the Monitor

March 17, 2012

First Lady Michelle Obama's visit to the Penacook Community Center last Friday was opportunity to celebrate her "Let's Move!" program and see it in action with young children. The children and staff made decorations and practiced a song for the first lady, but the real preparation started in 2009.

That is when the center's staff made a commitment to serving healthier snacks and starting the CATCH Kids Club, an evidence-based strategy to keep kids physically active after school. The Merrimack Valley School District engaged in this neighborhood-based effort and helped staff to create a garden for the children to grow their snacks. This work is on the leading edge of health reform initiatives to prevent chronic diseases such as diabetes and high blood pressure.

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