Library Awarded National Fit for Life Grant

Posted Dec 16th, 2008 by Rhonda B. Sewell  Category: Community Interest,


In recognition of the critical need for free, reliable health information in Toledo and Lucas County; the national non-profit organization Libraries for the Future (LLF) has awarded the Toledo-Lucas County Public Library a grant of $20,000. The grant will allow the Library to team with health and wellness entities to present a full year of “Fit for Life” programming to address physical and brain health across the lifespan.

The Toledo-Lucas County Public Library system is one of 17 libraries across the nation to receive “Fit for Life” grants, made possible by the generous support of MetLife Foundation and overseen by LFF. The Library applied for the competitive grant to promote a lifelong health campaign for Northwest Ohio. “Fit for Life” will emphasize both physical health and the new field of “brain health,” using five pillars that have emerged from the latest scientific research: diet, physical exercise, intellectual challenge, mental stimulation through new experiences, and socialization.

“Libraries have always served as institutions of reliable information, a place where patrons can come to attend free programming and walk away armed with knowledge. This “Fit for Life” grant is so important because the information we will disseminate in 2009 may actually save lives,” said Clyde Scoles, Library Director.

The Local Program
The Toledo-Lucas County Public Library won its “Fit for Life” grant by proposing programming to promote pertinent health and wellness information by partnering with major agencies and organizations.

Judy Jones, Mott Branch Library Manager, and Dorcel Dowdell, Main Library Manager, applied for the competitive grant to address some of Lucas County’s troubling health statistics. According to their grant proposal, some 27 percent of Lucas County’s third-graders are overweight (source: Ohio Action for Healthy Kids), and the county is ranked as one of the five worst heart-healthy cities (source: American Heart Association).

To initiate the grant’s programming, the Library will launch a public awareness campaign beginning in 2009 and partner with sources from area hospitals, health centers and networks, the Area Office on Aging of Northwestern Ohio, Inc., the City of Toledo’s Parks and Recreation department, the Lucas County Health Department, and many other area organizations and agencies.

Step One – “Fit for Life” Symposium
The Library will team with the Neighborhood Health Association to present a “Fit for Life” Symposium designed for healthcare professionals featuring keynote speaker, Dr. Paul David
Nussbaum, a noted clinical neuropsychologist who specializes in aging across the lifespan and brain health. The Symposium is scheduled on Friday, February 27, 2009 at Main Library, 325 Michigan St. A time will be announced in January. The goal of the Symposium is to enlist support to promote healthy lifestyles in Toledo and Lucas County.

More details will be announced in January, 2009 on “Fit for Life” grant-supported programming, which includes plans for a health expo, a Toledo Hospital partnership program titled Healthy Kids, afterschool healthy food events at Library branch locations with Ohio Extension Healthy Eating, and much more.

In all, the 17 libraries, including the Toledo-Lucas County Public Library, received a total of $292,000 from MetLife Foundation to be administered by Libraries for the Future. Direct participants include 251 library branch locations, reaching a service population of 6.9 million.

“The number of beneficiaries will be still higher as each library who won the “Fit for Life” grant must partner with a minimum of five community organizations and launch public awareness campaigns around the five pillars of brain health,” said Margaret Danziger, Library Deputy Director. “The Toledo-Lucas County Public Library has already reached out to several important health and wellness agencies and organizations who are concerned about our community living healthy longer. We are very honored to receive this important grant.”

The “Fit for Life” Web site – – will offer detailed information on each program component, as well as activities for library participants and all Web users, as the program gets underway in early 2009.

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Rhonda B. Sewell - Toledo-Lucas County Public Library | Toledo, OH | | 419.259.5381 No Comments »

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