Arte Publico takes book to the masses

UH’s Arte Publico Press is taking on childhood obesity one book and one family at a time.

Last year, APP’s wellness program, ¡Salud, familia!, published “I Kick the Ball / Pateo el balón,” a book by Gwendolyn Zepeda.

It is the program’s first publication in its efforts to combat obesity and related illnesses in the Latino youth.

Members of the press will be distributing 5,000 free copies of the book to families who take part in the Children At Risk Fourth Annual Nuestra Familia, Nuestra Salud Latino Children’s Health Fair on Sunday.

“With news about the extent to which obesity was permeating Latino communities, in particular children, we knew we were going to respond by doing what we do best — publish books,” Nicolás Kanellos, director of Arte Publico and a Brown Foundation Professor of Hispanic Literature, said in a UH news release.

“These books address the need for exercise, the need to take control of public spaces, parks and playgrounds; to promote good healthy eating; and get the messages not only to the kids, but also to the parents,” Kanellos said.

¡Salud, familia! is also taking its health message to the Internet and the airwaves via a public-service campaign.

APP also plans on publishing essays and is planning to compile research on Latino health.

All research will be published in a book written by leading health experts slated to come out later this year.

The program also plans on publishing and distributing four more books.

APP has already handed out over 200,000 copies of Zepeda’s book.

The health fair begins at noon on Sunday at PlazAmericas (formerly Sharpstown Mall), 7500 Bellaire Blvd.

Immunizations, health screenings and registration assistance for CHIP and Medicaid will also be available.

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