First County Bank Foundation Renews Support for Project L.E.A.N. with $10,000 Grant to Norwalk Hospital Foundation. From left, are Karen M. Kelly , SVP, Chief Marketing Officer, First County Bank, Grace Linhard, Chief Development Officer, Norwalk Hospital Foundation, Joyce Bretherton, communications and community health program manager, Caitlin Rohrmann, Assistant Director, Patient & Clinical Services, Norwalk Hospital, Amanda Dornburgh, Lead Dietician, Norwalk Hospital, and David Van Buskirk, Business Development Officer, First County Bank. (contributed photo)
NORWALK, CT - The Norwalk Hospital Foundation has received a $10,000 grant from the First County Bank Foundation to support Project L.E.A.N. (Learning with Energy from Activity and Nutrition), an innovative, school-based program that teaches children the importance of exercising and eating healthful foods.
Created in 2010 through a collaborative partnership between Norwalk Hospital, Pepperidge Farm, and the Norwalk Health Department, Project L.E.A.N. aims to improve the overall health of Norwalk students by teaching them lifelong habits of eating well and exercising often.
This is the third consecutive year that First County Bank Foundation has supported Norwalk Hospital’s involvement in Project L.E.A.N., which has proven successful in reducing obesity rates among student participants.
The grant will help fund the efforts of a registered dietician from Norwalk Hospital to engage students through hands-on nutrition education, physical activity, gardening and cooking. Other Project L.E.A.N. activities include “Breakfast Boot Camp,” for which children can choose to arrive at school early for exercise and a nutritious breakfast, as well as monthly events to encourage parent involvement.
“The First County Bank Foundation is proud to continue its support of Project L.E.A.N.,” said Reyno A. Giallongo, chairman and CEO of First County Bank and the president of the Foundation. “We’re impressed by the Project’s ongoing success in promoting habits of healthy living, and the children love it.”
Project L.E.A.N. was first offered as a pilot program to second-grade students at the Jefferson Science Magnet School, Norwalk’s largest elementary school. Now in its fifth year, Project L.E.A.N. has expanded to the School’s second through fourth grades, as well as to Kendall Elementary School, Norwalk’s second largest elementary school.
Childhood obesity poses a significant public health challenge in Norwalk and throughout the United States. During the 2009-2010 school year, obesity rates of public school students in Norwalk were higher than state and national averages.