“Healthy Lifestyle Choices’ programming dovetails nicely with some of our existing programs, including our Lighthouse after-school enrichment program, mentoring and Fresh Food Factor initiative to bring fresh, nutritious food into local schools.”President/ CEO of Volunteers of America Greater New Orleans, Jim LeBlanc
Healthy Lifestyle Choices Celebrates First Anniversary
In a natural partnership that comes from sharing common goals, Healthy Lifestyle Choices, a 13-year-old nonprofit organization that empowers youth through health-focused school curriculum and community outreach, celebrated becoming a program of Volunteers of America of Greater New Orleans. “Healthy Lifestyle Choices fills a vital need in our community by helping our children learn to make good decisions from an early age,” says affiliate President/ CEO Jim LeBlanc.
Volunteers of America Greater New Orleans publishes the HLC Behavioral-Health Program, one of the only five comprehensive health education elementary curriculums sold nationally. This research-based, comprehensive, sequential program provides youth, starting at age 3, with the knowledge and skills practice to make healthier choices. The program addresses five youth risk behaviors including nutrition, fitness, safety, conflict resolution and substance abuse prevention. Healthy Lifestyle Choices programming reaches more than 314,800 students in over 1,770 school and out-of-school time settings, with 81,800 of the youth located in the Greater New Orleans area.
The Healthy Lifestyle Choices program staff is actively advocating for elementary health education, providing professional development opportunities for educators and learning opportunities for families. Each school year, staff trains 160 Xavier University College of Pharmacy students to deliver HLC health education lessons in local public charter schools. The program also hosts quarterly Cooking Matters in the store. Family night tours teach parents how to shop for healthier alternatives to their favorite family meals. They learn how to read food labels, compare prices of various foods, understand the benefits of fresh and frozen foods, and how to shop for whole-grain products. Additional support is provided to parents through a bilingual parenting guide as a resource to light the way for a safer, healthier future.