Kansas City Public Library offers classes to boost community health and wellness

Elizabeth Orosco
Northeast News

The Kansas City Public Library continues to expand services to the community, including classes to help residents reach personal health goals for the new year. Amanda Landayan, the Library’s Health and Wellness Librarian, is working to offer a variety of events to local residents.

Landayan received her Masters of Social Work at Park University while completing an internship with the Library’s outreach program. In her current role, she is embedded in the community, serving all ten Kansas City Public Library branches.

“My role is getting out into the community, getting to know the people and getting a better understanding of what they think is important in terms of health and wellness.”

While her position is new, she said it’s been a great experience developing and expanding the program to best serve local residents.

“I’ve enjoyed getting to know the staff and getting out into the community. Part of my passion is just making sure we are meeting the needs of the community that we are serving.”

The Kansas City Public Library Northeast Branch, located at 6000 Wilson Road, offers a variety of health and exercise classes, including cardio kickboxing, full body chair fitness, an 8-week yoga class, and tai chi.

“The reason that we brought health and wellness into the libraries is because we knew and understood that we wanted people to be more active and we want to do that in a creative way by utilizing the library space,” said Landayan.

The Library works with NickiFit, a certified personal trainer and group instructor whose goal is to empower people in their fitness journey through personal training, group exercise classes, and weight loss challenges.

The Northeast branch will be starting a Healthy Living Challenge on January 28th that will run until March 29th. In the Stay Strong, Stay Healthy class, participants will learn 8 simple exercises designed to improve daily living. These moves will build strength, improve balance and health.

There will also be an Eating Smart, Being Active class that offers participants quality nutrition education as well as skills in preparing food.

The Stay Strong Stay Healthy class will be held Mondays and Wednesday evenings at the Northeast Branch from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. The Eating Smart, Being Active class will be held Wednesdays from 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., also at the Northeast Branch.

The library also features various tabling events, which gives community members an opportunity to stop by the library and ask questions and get information on topics in a no-pressure setting.

Last week, a Planned Parenthood representative was available to speak with residents about the many services offered to women, including birth control, annual exams, pregnancy testing, adoption services, prenatal care, and family practice.

“We wanted to highlight the extensive services Planned Parenthood offers,” said Landayan. “They are here to serve the community in a positive way and to give women services that are sometimes not affordable for all of us.”

The Northeast branch will also be hosting “Let’s Talk Diabetes,” a live question-and-answer session with Dr. Raquele Laury on Saturday, Jan. 26, 2019 from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. to discuss important questions regarding diabetes.
Landayan said these events and classes have a great impact on the community, allowing residents to get quality education and services that might not be readily accessible elsewhere.

“I think being able to go where the people are is far more impactful,” she said. “I think it allows for those conversations to occur and people begin to really ask necessary health questions.”

She said there are a lot more classes and programs coming up, and the library will continue to reach out and offer various opportunities for residents to invest in their health.

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