SOURCE: National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA)
Ongoing initiative provides children with access to healthy foods and physical activity opportunities during out-of-school time
Ashburn, Va. (Feb. 28, 2018) — Children across the country are reaping the benefits of a national out-of-school time initiative aimed at improving childhood nutrition and increasing physical activity through local parks and recreation. Now in its fourth year, the National Recreation and Park Association’s (NRPA) Commit to Health campaign, which utilizes the Healthy Eating and Physical Activity (HEPA) standards first adopted by the National AfterSchool Association, has been implemented by 1,650 park and recreation sites nationally — impacting nearly 300,000 youth enrolled in out-of-school time programming.
In partnership with the Alliance for a Healthier Generation (Healthier Generation) and Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA), NRPA is working closely with its members to ensure children everywhere have access to healthy foods and physical fitness opportunities during out-of-school time. Since the campaign began in 2014, 47 states have sites that are part of Commit to Health. Moreover, youth attending Commit to Health sites report a 20 percent increase in fruit and vegetable knowledge. Additional highlights are included in this infographic.
“Ensuring our nation’s youth have access to healthy eating and physical activity is important — especially during out-of-school time,” said Kellie May, NRPA director of health and wellness. “NRPA is committed to this effort. That’s why we encourage our member agencies to take the Commit to Health pledge. Together, we can make a difference.”
“At Healthier Generation, we believe every child deserves a healthy future,” said Dr. Howell Wechsler, CEO of the Alliance for a Healthier Generation. “We’re proud to partner with NRPA and Commit to Health to increase healthy eating and physical activity opportunities for hundreds of thousands of kids nationwide, particularly those who have fewer healthy choices.”
Join 1,650 park and recreation sites across the country that are inspiring youth, families and communities to eat healthy and move more. These new how-to videos share specifics on how to get started:
- Family Engagement: How to engage families in your agencies by looking at community and cultural needs, then tailoring programming to fit.
- Connecting Health and Nature: Emphasizing the connection between healthy lifestyles and nature, and how to make it a priority in out-of-school time programs.
- Quick Physical Activity Breaks: Live examples of quick and fun physical activity breaks to do with out-of-school time program participants or staff.
- Adopting Policy and Documenting your Health and Wellness Success: Overview of how to create a wellness policy for an OST site and why it is important to document your successful implementation of the HEPA standards.
- Providing Meals and Snacks Through the Federal Nutrition Programs: Overview of the Federal Nutrition programs and how out-of-school time providers can use the programs to serve meals to children in underserved communities.
To learn more about Commit to Health, visit www.nrpa.org/committohealth.
To learn more about NRPA, visit www.nrpa.org.
About the National Recreation and Park Association
The National Recreation and Park Association is a national not-for-profit organization dedicated to ensuring that all Americans have access to parks and recreation for health, conservation and social equity. Through its network of 60,000 recreation and park professionals and advocates, NRPA encourages the promotion of healthy and active lifestyles, conservation initiatives and equitable access to parks and public space. For more information, visit www.nrpa.org. For digital access to NRPA’s flagship publication, Parks & Recreation, visit www.parksandrecreation.org.