MADISON (WKOW) -- This spring and summer, expect to see hundreds of Dane County kids swimming, biking, and running their way to better health. Local non-profit Tri 4 Schools has partnered with UnityPoint Health – Meriter to expand the Exercise to Achievement program.
This program helps kids in local elementary and middle schools train to complete a youth-distance triathlon, while learning healthy nutrition, mindfulness, and classroom habits that lead to higher achievement inside and outside the classroom. Now in its third year, the program has already helped over 650 kids cross the finish line of a triathlon, and nearly 500 kids across 16 different schools around Dane County are expected to participate this year.
“Our partnership with Tri 4 Schools is one of the ways we are working with local organizations to help improve the health of the community,” notes Art Nizza, President and CEO of UnityPoint Health – Meriter. “We know that by helping children become healthier through physical exercise and healthier eating habits, there is a much greater chance that they will be healthier adults. This is an investment in the future of our community.”
Tri 4 Schools is an organization dedicated to improving the health of children in the area through running, biking, and swimming, as well as hosting youth triathlons, mud runs, and after-school programs to teach kids healthy habits and support area schools. With a focus on underserved populations, over 75 percent of the participants in the program qualify for free or reduced lunch. “We believe all kids deserve safe, fun, and healthy opportunities after school, which is why we are so thrilled to team up with UnityPoint Health – Meriter,” said Executive Director Katie Hensel. “Their focus on serving our local community is front and center, and we know they will be an active and engaged partner.”
Students in the Exercise to Achievement program will participate in the Waunakee Kids Triathlon on April 30th at Waunakee High School. Since 2011, Tri 4 Schools has raised $180,000 in resources for area schools, helping over 8,500 children complete a triathlon or mud run.
This program is also presented with generous support from The Blue Tree Networkand TDS, as well as many other community partners.
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