There’s a movement that’s spreading across the nation, and it’s called “Muevete USA.” It’s a project that brings together nurses and nursing student volunteers, low-income Hispanic children, and community organizations to learn about the importance of healthy eating.
Muevete (Move) USA, a program designed and executed by the National Association of Hispanic Nurses (NAHN) community, is possible thanks to a $150,000 grant from The Coca-Cola Foundation. It draws inspiration from First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” campaign. Muevete USA seeks to equip nurses with the skills and passion to short-circuit the pervasive cycle of childhood and adolescent obesity in the Hispanic community.
Since its implementation in 2011, the five-lesson educational program—teaching the basics of healthy eating, through preparing healthy snacks and exercise activities—has gathered momentum nationwide, having doubled in both participation and enthusiasm in 2013.
“The 2013 NAHN Muevete USA obesity prevention program was exceptional,” says Project Director Angie Millan, RN, MSN, NP, CNS, FAAN. “First, we doubled the number of instructors trained and the number of children who participated. Secondly, the program was implemented in 20 NAHN chapters throughout the United States, an increase of five chapters from the previous year.
“The most popular part of the program continues to be the five lessons, where the children get to interact with the instructors and participate in hands-on activities,” Millan added.
In 2012, the program expanded its reach to not only children, but also to their parents, custodians, and relatives, and saw increased community partnerships, which emphasized the grassroots focus of the project.
In Chicago, nursing student volunteers taught children a specialized dance routine to the beat of Latin music at the Boys & Girls Club in the Little Village neighborhood. In Phoenix, children gathered at the Friendly House where they learned techniques in self-defense and got their hearts pumping in relay races and obstacle courses. In Washington, DC, children and their families learned callisthenic and aerobic exercises at the Latin American Youth Center & Little Stars Camp.
The NAHN chapters developed YouTube videos as part of the project. Visit www.nahnnet.org/2012MueveteUSAChaptersVideos.html to watch the videos.
“We are delighted to once again partner with NAHN and this important health lifestyle training program,” says Frank Ros, Vice President, Hispanic Strategies for Coca-Cola North America. “This program is another step towards helping to create healthy, sustainable communities.”
“We are so proud of our student members, as well as the experienced NAHN nurses who came together with children and their families in low-income Hispanic communities to make this project a huge success,” remarked NAHN President Jose Alejandro, PhD, RN-BC, MBA, CCM, FACHE. “NAHN wants to thank The Coca-Cola Foundation for making this project possible.”
From New York City to Rio Grande Valley to Los Angeles, NAHN chapters, Hispanic nurses and nursing students, along with children and their families, continue to move to the beat of a healthier life.