IMPACT Silver Spring Triples Program Enrollment

Through new initiatives and funding opportunities, the number of children enrolled in food, nutrition and sporting programs with IMPACT Silver Spring more than tripled this year compared to 2012.lbaa_sportsGirls_Basketball

The non-profit organization, which focuses on community wide leadership and skill building, reached close to 1,000 boys and girls across Montgomery County in 2013 through their programs and sports teams.

“We reached an incredible number of boys and girls in 2013 and see momentum for our programs building next year,” said Ronnie Galvin, executive director of IMPACT Silver Spring. “We were able to see such a tremendous increase due to a host of factors.”

New funding support from the Maryland/American Beverage Association allowed IMPACT Silver Spring to increase staff and programming to grow enrollment in the County.

“Our partnership with IMPACT Silver Spring demonstrates our commitment to promoting a healthy, balanced lifestyle among young people,” said Ellen Valentino, executive vice president, Maryland-Delaware-D.C. Beverage Association. “It is important to make sure children and their parents know that exercise and healthy foods are the building blocks of living a vigorous, healthy life.”

IMPACT Silver Spring was founded in 1999 during the revitalization of downtown Silver Spring. The concept for the non-profit was born when its founders developed a community-wide leadership program, bringing people together across lines of differences.

For the first time, IMPACT Silver Spring expanded their programs into Wheaton this year, with funding from Montgomery County Councilmember Nancy Navarro.

Recruitment efforts also focused on neighborhoods and specific schools this year, rather than just blanketing communities with fliers and information.

In addition, the organization is seeing their work to build a reputation with local communities pay off.

“The trust and rapport we have built with families over the last three years since we ‘acquired’ the sports programming has allowed us to ‘cross pollinate’ kids who only previously played soccer to also now play basketball,” Galvin said.

Next year the program will introduce several new sports programs to their roster including lacrosse, field hockey and baseball.

But the sports and programs all point towards one goal – staying active and teaching young local children how to take care of themselves.

“Our message to children and their parents that being active and eating nutritious foods is important for leading a healthy and productive life is taking hold,” Galvin said. “We are firm believers that eating properly helps in the classroom and on the courts and fields.”

Find more information about IMPACT Silver Spring on their website here.

Valerie Bonk

About Valerie Bonk

Valerie Bonk is a multimedia reporter and community engagement specialist with Montgomery Community Media (MCM).


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