Health & Wellness

Westfield Area Y and UnitedHealthcare Kick Off Annual 7th Grade Initiative

Students enjoyed health snacks at the Westfield Area Y's 7th Grade Initiative kickoff. Credits: UnitedHealthcare
UnitedHealthcare joined with New Jersey YMCAs to help 7th grade students form healthy habits during a critical time of development.  From left to right: Michael McGuire, chief executive officer of UnitedHealthcare of New York and New Jersey; John Verga, vice president, key account sales and account management at UnitedHealthcare; and Mark Elsasser, chief executive officer of the Westfield Area Y. Credits: UnitedHealthcare

WESTFIELD, NJ - The Westfield Area YMCA and UnitedHealthcare kicked off their annual Seventh-Grade Initiative on Oct. 8 with healthy snacks, fitness testing, a climbing wall, advice from personal trainers and a nutritionist as well as other activities for seventh graders and their families. 

Seventh grade students in Cranford, Garwood, Mountainside and Westfield are eligible to take part in the program, which is intended to heighten awareness and combat the epidemic of youth obesity that our community and nation faces.

Research indicates that seventh grade is a key junction in a child’s development of attitudes and behaviors regarding body image, nutrition and self-esteem, according to the Y. The goal of the Seventh-Grade Initiative is to help kids pass through this critical time of development with a healthy self-image and a thorough understanding of the importance of exercise and nutrition throughout the teen years and into adulthood. 

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All participants who do not currently have an active Y membership will receive a complimentary Pre-Teen Plus membership in addition to physical, nutritional and educational opportunities throughout the 2013-2014 school year. In addition, the 7th Grade Initiative offers students the opportunity to participate in the Annual UnitedHealthcare Health Bee, a quiz-show style competition that test students’ knowledge about health and fitness topics. 

For more information or to sign up, contact Amanda Aquirre at 908-233-2700 x258 or e-mail

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