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Horizon Foundation Grant Supports Healthy Choices and Healthy Kids

In the field of health care, Rutgers has repeatedly proven itself to be a global leader—not only through groundbreaking coronavirus research but also through programs that advance personal health to build stronger, more resilient communities. A recent $100,000 grant from the Horizon Foundation for New Jersey puts that leadership in the spotlight by supporting a vital component of the New Jersey Healthy Kids Initiative (NJHKI). The grant enables a partnership between NJHKI and Rutgers Cooperative Extension, ensuring that children and their families will continue to benefit from the cutting-edge work of the Rutgers Culture of Health School Program (RCHSP).

Based on the idea that children are naturally drawn to specific social and cultural influences, most easily seen in the appeal of video games and other interactive media, the RCHSP harnesses those influences to empower healthy choices. The program fosters and promotes lifestyles centered around physical activity and nutritional literacy—both being vital to the healthy development of young people.

Before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the program utilized a field trip format aimed at two age groups: kindergarteners and 7th-graders. Students from Greater Brunswick Charter Schools were invited to the Institute for Food, Nutrition, and Health twice a month to participate in entertaining activities that boosted fitness and nutritional literacy. Within this framework, Erin Comollo and Sara Elnakib, co-principal investigators for the RCHSP, approached the Horizon Foundation for funding to expand the program.

Read more at Rutgers.edu