(Alton, IL) - Riverbend Head Start & Family Services today announced the agency has been awarded a grant for $75,000 from Blue Cross Build Shield of Illinois for the I Am Moving, I Am Learning project and the improvement of two of its child development center outdoor playgrounds.

"The funding will allow the Agency to promote early childhood health and wellness by infusing physical activity into the early childhood education of 945 low-income infants, toddlers and preschoolers enrolled in the agency's Head Start and Early Head Start programs," said Debbie Fremont, Child Development Coordinator for Riverbend Head Start & Family Services. "The I
Am Moving, I Am Learning project is a proactive approach for addressing childhood obesity in young children. It encourages daily moderate to vigorous physical activity, improved quality of movement activities intentionally planned and facilitated by adults, and promotes healthy food choices every day."

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Specifically, the Agency will use the funding to purchase instructional resource kits to fully implement the program with the aid of training DVDs, CDs and materials for parents, teachers, and children; and products to provide incentives or rewards such as t-shirts, posters, and stickers.

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The grant from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois will also allow the Agency to install rubber surfacing at its Granite City South Head Start Center. New poured rubber will replace the over-a-decade-old interlock rubber tiles, and provide a seamless, safer surface for the children.
Riverbend Head Start & Family Services began supporting the families and individuals of Madison County in 1916. More than 90 years later, Riverbend Head Start & Family Services offers services through its Family Foundations, Head Start and Transitions Counseling programs that serve more than 4,000 people each year.

For the young child Riverbend Head Start & Family Services offer early childhood education, as well as health and nutrition services. For families and individuals they offer mental health counseling, social services, family literacy and various individual strengthening and family support services.

For more information about Riverbend Head Start & Family Services and its
program, please visit www.riverbendfamilies.org or call (618) 463-5946.

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