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City of Albuquerque, UNM, and Bernalillo County Celebrate Cooperation

Mayor Berry, UNM, and Bernalillo County gather to tout youth camp success

June 29, 2012

ALBUQUERQUE, NM — For nearly 30 years, the University of New Mexico has provided a stellar youth summer recreational camp for area kids. This year, the program got a boost thanks to a partnership with the City of Albuquerque Parks and Recreation and Bernalillo County, and Healthy U at the U was born.

The program is a cooperative effort between the three partners to encourage healthy lifestyles to youth through a fun, educational summer camp. Last year, the University of New Mexico reached out to the City of Albuquerque and Bernalillo County in order to accomplish three goals: reach more children, reduce program costs, and work cooperatively to offer a high quality recreational program.

"This kind of cooperation between our local governments is exactly the direction we should be going," said Mayor Richard J. Berry. "With the challenges we are facing across the board, collaborations like this are critical to keeping programs like this alive and thriving."

The camp – which started June 11 – has seen over 200 registrants from across the area, with ages ranging from 9-14. The City and County helped boost participation by providing transportation from area community centers to the camp, and getting the word out about the program. Participants have enjoyed sports activities from rugby and soccer, to dance and health and wellness programs.

Children attending the camp are also provided pre and post-camp fitness testing to help participants stay on a healthy path.  A strong educational component compliments the program through science and wellness instruction, and many kids are also exposed to the University and it’s educational environment for the first time. The program offered scholarships in order to help those families in need of financial assistance; the camp wraps up activities on July 6, 2012.