Average Reading Time: about 3 minutes

According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA), November has been designated for Diabetes Awareness Month since 1975. At the Y, we are committed to improve our community’s health and well-being by offering support, guidance, resources, facilities and expertise.

In 2019, we partnered with ASU to launch ¡Viva! Program in our Watts Family Maryvale YMCA. The program, launched through ASU’s Edson College of Nursing and Health Innovation’s Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention is a family centered diabetes prevention program for youth between the ages of 8 – 12 years old, and a patient of St. Joseph’s pediatrics. For 12-weeks, at NO-COST, participants and their families meet for a weekly one-hour nutrition class and one-hour physical activity classes three times a week.

How to participate in the program?

To participate in the program, they enter through a doctor referral based on the child being overweight and at risk of type II diabetes. The program provides educational sessions on nutrition done by one of the partners of the program, and fitness classes over zoom conducted by the YMCA staff.

Benefits of the program:

  1. The sessions encourage participants to improve health behaviors and health outcomes.
  2. Learn how to maintain a healthy lifestyle with your loved ones.
  3. Learn how to prevent type 2 diabetes.
  4. Free nutrition and exercises classes.
  5. It is a fun way to be active as a family.
  6. A free membership to the YMCA during the 12-week program.
  7. If your family is able to complete 80% attendance in all of the classes, you will earn an additional 9 months YMCA membership for free!

“I loved it (¡Viva! Program) because it changed my son’s life. It was a program that taught us many things we didn’t know.”

For Perla, participant of the ¡Viva! Program since 2019, ¡Viva! Program taught them from reading the food labels to cook different for Nathanial, her kid, in a healthy way. “I loved it (¡Viva! Program) because it changed my son’s life. It was a program that taught us many things we didn’t know.” Perla said.

To learn more about our programs visit our website.

You have a story with the Y? Email me at clary.tanner@vosymca.org.