Center for Healthy Children

The Center for Healthy Children is a free program where children struggling with obesity learn how to live an active & healthy lifestyle.

Childhood obesity is a serious and real problem in northeast Arkansas. The definition of Childhood obesity is a body mass index in the 95th percentile or higher for their age group. Body mass index (BMI) measures how heavy a child weighs compared to their height. Good health is associated with a percentile score of 5-85% and reflects a lower risk of disease onset. The obese classification or 95th percentile is associated with elevated risks for developing poor health later in life, if not already present. If interventions are presented and followed by the child and family, disease risks can be reduced. The goal of Center for Healthy Children is to be that intervention.

Obesity results from too many calories and not enough movement. Center for Healthy Children looks to provide solutions to this problem for kids with its free after school program. Through weekly exercise and nutrition classes, this 12 week program, offered in both the spring and fall as well as a shorter six week program in the summer, provides a needed outlet to equip kids with the skills to overcome obesity.

Children must be between 8 to 12 years of age to participate. Anyone interested in the exercise program should email Anna Gage at

Center for Healthy Children is one of the six programs of the NEA Baptist Charitable Foundation and is funded through memorials, honorariums, and generous gifts from the community and NEA Baptist employees.

Center for Healthy Children Application




Our Impact

My son, Reed, has benefited in many ways from participating in the Center for Healthy Children program. The nutrition classes provided a great opportunity for dialogue at home to help Reed choose healthier foods and snacks. As a result he has discovered several new foods that he actually likes. He reads food labels now and understands portion sizes. Reed was very hesitant about the exercise component of the program, but I am amazed by just how much exercise improves his mood and his confidence. Kristin Jackson
Coach Will is fun to talk to. Swimming, playing dodgeball, and playing Wii Sports games were fun ways to be active. Wii sports bowling was my favorite. Coach Will is an upbeat guy who is fun to talk to about just about anything. I think kids would like to go to the gym where there are a track, games and machines to work out. Reed Jackson

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