Kids and parents attended reading and exercise launch party at Ridgewood school

Photos courtesy Advocate Community Providers

Students at Ridgewood‘s P.S. 239 got the chance to grow their minds and bodies during the “Get Focused on Reading” launch party earlier this month.

The Get Focused on Reading campaign is a summerlong series of community book fairs that reaches across New York’s public schools to promote healthy minds and bodies by bringing reading, exercise and nutritious food to communities that need it the most.

The series is hosted by Advocate Community Providers (ACP) and Get Focused, two local organizations that are committed to improving population health citywide, and to combat health challenges such as obesity and diabetes that disproportionately plague underserved communities.

These community book fairs provide children with free fitness and health education, while empowering them to not only “shop” for their favorite books, but earn them by completing exercise goals while being coached by certified trainers.

During the launch event at P.S. 239, students were able to shop from over 1,000 donated books, while parents spoke directly with local ACP network physicians for any health-related questions they may have had.

“The purpose of the Get Focused on Reading campaign is to instill the power and knowledge of reading, exercise and community service into our youth and catalyze a movement in New York’s most unhealthy neighborhoods,” said Goldin Martinez, founder of Get Focused. “Since our establishment in 2009, Get Focused has completed over two dozen free programs and events, impacting nearly 50,000 youth and we are excited to further our impact with the support of Advocate Community Providers.”

ACP and Get Focused are targeting neighborhoods with the highest concentrations of severe health conditions to address the racial and ethnic disparities that many low-income and minority communities face.

“Diabetes and obesity are not only serious illnesses that disproportionately affect underserved communities, they are major financial burdens on our health care system,” said Moisés Pérez-Martínez, director of workforce, community and government relations at ACP. “At a time when the city is working to transform health care delivery to achieve improved care, better health outcomes and reduced costs, innovative initiatives and partnerships such as this are critical to our collective success. ACP is thrilled to partner with Get Focused, and we look forward to the work ahead.”

For more information on the Get Focused on Reading campaign, visit the ACP website, or the Get Focused website.

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