Bubble Foundation Announces Expansion of Free Nutrition and Fitness Programs For At Risk Children to Four New York City Charter Schools

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The Bubble Foundation is committed to providing free nutrition and fitness programs for at risk children in partnership with New York City Charter Schools. Through the implementation of fun, healthy activities and community partnerships, Bubble helps New York City join the fight against childhood obesity in America.

Bubble Foundation, the 501(c)(3) organization that partners with New York City charter schools educating at risk children in underserved communities, is expanding its presence to four schools for the 2012 / 2013 academic year. The Bubble Foundation provides custom nutrition and fitness curricula at no cost to schools which lack the means to provide health and wellness programs to students.

Amy Nauiokas, Bubble Foundation Co-Founder said, “Our Bubble (MOVES) and Bubble (EATS) programs complement and expand upon a charter school’s current efforts, filling in gaps left by lack of funding, resources, or information. Through fun activities, learning adventures, and food programs, Bubble educates students about fresh, healthy eating and lifestyles that will transcend far beyond the classroom.”

The Bubble curriculum will reach an estimated additional 500 K-5 students for the 2012/13 school year at area charter schools including DREAM Charter School in East Harlem, the Heketi Community Charter School in the South Bronx, the Neighborhood Charter School of Harlem, and PAVE Academy Charter School of Brooklyn.

New Bubble Foundation activities to be launched during the 2012-2013 school year include a classroom version of What’s On Your Plate, guest lectures from nutrition and fitness professionals, field trips to popular local restaurants and local organic farms, and urban gardening programs in both classrooms and the community.

Bubble works with each school to target and address the needs of the children it serves with custom programs, offered free of charge, that support specific school goals for a two year partnership. Together with Bubble, the schools build a foundation to implement and fund their own programs beyond the startup time period. More than 400 students have already participated in Bubble programs since its establishment in 2010.

“Bubble programs are, above all, dynamic,” said Nauiokas. “We begin our relationship with each school by listening openly to the staff, administration, and children to understand the needs of their growing community. We feel that meaningful connections between food, family and community are even more powerful when children are involved in the meal process.”

A successful two year partnership with Haven Academy in the South Bronx has led to the hiring of a full-time Registered Dietician, the launch of the school’s wellness committee, and there are plans to bring on a full-time PE teacher.

After one year at Dream Charter School in Harlem, the administration has leveraged the Bubble program by implementing a new nutrition policy, effectively banning sweets from the campus. They have also asked Bubble to help plan for and advise on a new “family-style” cafeteria when their new school launches in 2013.

According to the Center for Disease Control, childhood obesity rates in America have tripled in the past thirty years. The New York Department of Health notes that obesity can begin very early in life. In New York City alone, 1 in 5 kindergarten children are obese, and nearly half of all elementary schoolchildren are not at a healthy weight.

"At Dream, we strive to provide the very best in educational opportunities for our students. Bubble has enabled us to offer the very best in nutrition programming, and has done so at no cost to our school or students. Our gratitude cannot be expressed," said Eve Colavito, Principal of Dream Academy.

The Bubble Foundation is partnering with Barclays Nets Alliance Initiative to offer charter school programming in Brooklyn for the first time this fall.

In addition to its formal school programs, Bubble is offering students monthly cooking lessons through a partnership with Whole Foods Market's Wellness Club in Tribeca. Other partners of Bubble Foundation include Harlem Seeds, Red Rabbit, Harlem RBI and Angelica’s Kitchen.

“This year we hope to attract additional donors to collaborate with us in funding our 2012/2013 programming, and to allow for new summer programming in the summer of 2013,” said Amy Nauiokas. “We also hope to expand our volunteer base, and bring additional community partners and sponsors during this school year.”

Bubble Foundation is accepting applications from Charter Schools for the 2013/2014 school year. To learn more about Bubble, or to support its efforts, please visit the website http://www.welcometobubble.org.

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About Bubble
The Bubble Foundation is dedicated to providing at risk children in New York City access to activities and food that help him or her to live a healthy and happy life through partnerships with charter schools that shares this mission. Together, we design a nutrition and fitness program that complements and expands on the school’s current efforts, filling in gaps left by lack of funding, resources, or sometimes information. Through fun activities, learning adventures, and food programs, we provide the foundation for building a lifetime of knowledge. Co-Founded in 2010 by Amy Nauiokas and James Connolly, Bubble is designated as a 501(c) (3) not-for-profit organization.

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Laura Hynes-Keller
Rubenstein Associates, Inc.
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