$10,000 Grant Allowing Bridgeport Youth Center to Expand Fitness Program

BRIDGEPORT—In early December, the Cardinal Shehan Center, a youth center in Bridgeport, CT, received a $10,000.00 grant from the Rotary Club of Bridgeport Foundation for its Fitness for Life program. The Shehan Center Fitness for Life program teaches kids about healthy eating and cooking as well as the importance of being physically active.

The grant will also allow the Shehan Center to add a health day expo to the program. Katherine O’Hara, Shehan Center Co-Program Director, said, “The 100 second through eighth graders participating in our Fitness for Life program are being taught how to take care of their bodies by eating right and exercising. Now, with this grant we will be able to offer the entire Shehan Center community a day to learn about healthy ways of living.” The one day expo will take place in the spring at the Cardinal Shehan Center on Main Street in Bridgeport and will be open to the public as well. “After a very competitive grant process, I’m pleased to award the Cardinal Shehan Center and the other grant recipients who have a positive impact, especially in education, on the families in the greater Bridgeport area,” said John Cottrell, Chair of Rotary Club of Bridgeport Foundation.

Medical students from Quinnipiac University’s Bobcat Club began in September meeting once a week for two hours with elementary school through middle school aged members of the Shehan Center to teach them about healthy cooking, nutrition and making good food choices. Together, the University students and children cook recipes like vegetarian shepherd’s pie while the children learn about the origins of the dishes.

The physical activity and exercise segment will center on activities that children can participate in throughout their lifetime, such as swimming, yoga, running and stretching. Instructors will utilize the Shehan Center’s pool, in-door court, weight room and outdoor fields.