August 11, 2008

Head Start program receives $10,000 grant

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s Head Start program is the recipient of a 2008 Champions for Healthy Kids grant for $10,000.

The program will benefit in a variety of ways from the grant funding, said Cathy J. Reed, Head Start director. She said the funds will enhance staff training to help staff become healthier, increase the amount of planned moderate to vigorous physical activity happening in the classrooms, and enhance nutrition education in the classroom. Parents will also get expanded training to help them provide healthier meals to their families and to encourage increased physical activity within the home environment.

The General Mills Champions for Health Kids Program awarded $500,000 in grants to 50 community-based organizations that have youth nutrition and fitness programs. Recipients travel to the General Mills headquarters in Minneapolis to participate in a two-day workshop sharing information about the various programs across the country.

The Champions for Healthy Kids initiative is a partnership including the General Mills Foundation, the American Dietetic Association Foundation and the President’s Council on Physical Fitness. General Mills has given more than $11 million to youth nutrition programs serving more than two million children nationally since 2002. For more information about the General Mills Champions program and other similar initiatives, visit

The SIUC Head Start program is a federally funded program for children ages three-five residing in Jackson and Williamson counties. It’s a comprehensive activity program promoting mental, social, emotional and physical health within the children. Head Start centers and co-locations are in Carbondale, Johnston City, Marion, Murphysboro and Carterville.

To learn more about SIUC Head Start, call 618/453-6448 or 618/997-2216 or visit the Web site at