The Horizon Foundation in Columbia is awarding $300,000 in grants to three Howard County organizations to help fight childhood obesity.

The three recipients are FIRN, a local nonprofit that assists foreign-born residents, the Howard County Health Department and the Howard County Public School System.  

According to a Horizon Foundation news release, one in four children in Howard County is overweight, and obesity is worse for racially and ethnically diverse children.

FIRN received $90,000 to develop a program to promote healthier lifestyles among Hispanic families.

The county schools received $125,000 to help fund a web-based health assessment fitness program for students in grades 4-9.

According to the release, 180 certified physical education teachers will assess students fitness and collect fitness data, and all 74 county schools will participate.

The Howard County Health Department was awarded a two-year grant of $86,000 per year. The money will be used to engage pediatricians and family physicians in obesity prevention, screening, counseling and treatment.

Horizon estimates the grant will reach 200 providers and 400 families over two years.