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Keene State's Early Sprouts Program Receives Surgeon General's Champion Award

KEENE, N.H., 6/26/08 - Acting Surgeon General Dr. Steven Galson will present Keene State College’s Early Sprouts program with a “Healthy Youth for a Healthy Future” Champion Award at the Rose Byrne Child Development Center in Manchester, N.H., at 10 a.m. on Tues., July 1.

Dr. Galson’s visit is part of a nationwide tour to promote the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Childhood Overweight and Obesity Prevention Initiative. The “Healthy Youth for a Healthy Future” initiative focuses on recognizing and showcasing those communities throughout the nation that are addressing childhood overweight and obesity prevention by helping kids stay active, encouraging healthy eating habits, and promoting healthy choices.

The Early Sprouts program, led by KSC Health Science Professor Dr. Karrie Kalich, is a 24-week nutrition and gardening curriculum for preschoolers that originated at Keene State in 2006. Kalich worked with KSC students and faculty from the Nutrition and Education departments to implement a program to address the significant community health problem of childhood obesity. Early Sprouts engages preschool children and their families in a unique, healthy lifestyle- learning program centered on a working vegetable garden.

The Rose Byrne Child Development Center is one of six Head Start centers in southern New Hampshire that adopted the Early Sprouts program.

The Early Sprouts program is funded in part by the HNHfoundation, whose mission is to support nonprofit organizations working to evaluate and promote access to quality health insurance coverage for New Hampshire’s children, as well as promote healthy lifestyles. Ms. Sandi Van Scoyoc, HNHfoundation President, will be attending the award ceremony to congratulate Dr. Kalich on receiving the Community Champion Award and on her success with the Early Sprouts Program.

Early Sprouts was selected as one of five grand-prize winners from 260 applicants for the National Gardening Association’s 2007 Healthy Sprouts Award. The program has also received support from the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services, Monadnock Challenge Fund of the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation, CMH Foundation, Hannaford Super Markets, Cheshire Health Foundation - Advocates for Healthy Youth, Monadnock United Way, MacMillin, Kiwanis Club of Keene, National Gardening Association, and Home Depot.

For more information on Keene State College’s Early Sprouts Program, visit the Keene State College Media & College Relations blog.

For more information on the Surgeon General’s Initiative, visit www.surgeonge

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