Healthy U

Healthy U is a year-round, interactive health and wellness education program created by the YMCA of Greater Grand Rapids to address the growing health disparities faced by urban children and families in the Grand Rapids community. Healthy U is offered free of charge to participants.


Healthy U addresses disparities that include higher than average incidence of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, stroke, cardiovascular disease, and Type II diabetes in the vulnerable populations that we serve.

Program Success

Independent evaluation shows that students in K-12 attending Healthy U spend a remarkable 75.4% of class time in moderate to vigorous physical activity, handily exceeding the 50% benchmark recommended by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) for physical education programs.

The Y’s Healthy U program currently educates more than 6,000 low income school-aged youth (K-12) on fitness, nutrition, and character development principles, with a focus on increasing each child’s participation in moderate to vigorous physical activity.

The program takes place during the school day, during critical after-school hours, and in the summer at more than 40 sites across greater Grand Rapids. In 2008, Healthy U was recognized by the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Families Count Family Strengthening Award.

Healthy U serves over 6,000 school-age youth (K-12) in the Greater Grand Rapids community.

Healthy U Programs Sites

  • Aberdeen Elementary
  • Alger Middle School
  • Brookside Elementary
  • Buchanan Elementary
  • Burton Elementary
  • CA Frost Elementary
  • Campus Elementary
  • Coit Elementary
  • Dickinson Elementary
  • East Leonard Elementary
  • Ellington Academy
  • Godfrey Elementary
  • Grand Rapids University Prep Academy
  • Harrison Park Elementary
  • North Park Elementary
  • Palmer Elementary
  • Riverside Middle
  • Sibley Elementary
  • Visser Family YMCA Impact Afterschool Program
  • West Godwin Elementary
  • West Kellogsville Elementary
  • Westwood Middle School
  • Wyoming West Elementary

If you are interested in learning more, please send an email to or call us at 616.855.9648.