First Lady Michelle Obama Applauds Investments in Healthier Out-of-School Programs That Will Impact 5 Million Kids
Boys & Girls Clubs of America and National Recreation and Park Association
Commit to Creating Healthy Environments for Children Across the Country
MIAMI, FL—Today, First Lady Michelle Obama joins the Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA), the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) and the Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA) for the announcement of a five-year commitment by BGCA and NRPA to create healthy environments for children who attend out-of-school programming across the country. BGCA and NRPA will provide 5 million children with healthy snacks and physical activity during the critical few hours between when kids leave school and before they go home. Parents can now rest assured that the work they are doing at home to keep their kids healthy will be reinforced in those after-school hours.
“Because of this new announcement from the Boys and Girls Clubs and the National Recreation and Park Association, millions of kids will be in healthy environments not just during the school day, but during those critical hours after school as well. Kids will be getting a fruit or a vegetable at every meal and every snack, they’ll have healthy beverages like water and low-fat milk and they’ll be getting active for at least 30 minutes a day,” said First Lady Michelle Obama. “This is going to make a huge impact—not just on our kids’ health, but on their success in school and in life.”
When the NRPA and BGCA commitments are combined with a November 2011 commitment by YMCA of the USA to implement healthy guidelines, more than 5.5 million children will be impacted by healthier programming, demonstrating that we are truly moving toward a new, healthier norm in out-of-school programs.
“Boys & Girls Clubs of America is committed to helping young people eat healthier, become more active and lead healthy lifestyles,” said Damon A. Williams, Ph.D., senior vice president, Program, Training & Youth Development Services for BGCA. “Our pledge is to provide a world-class experience after school and in summer that assures success is within reach for every young person who enters our doors—and critical to that success is building healthy habits. Our public commitment with the Partnership for a Healthier America will help our Clubs inspire youth to stay active and make smart food choices that will help them achieve a great future.”
“Improving the quality of life of our children is of utmost priority for the National Recreation and Park Association,” said Barbara Tulipane, NRPA president and CEO. “Our children have a greater chance of achieving good health throughout life if they are supported by environments that foster lifelong healthy habits. Our commitment with the Partnership for a Healthier America transforms out-of-school programming in park and recreation agencies across America. By ensuring that our agencies are providing the highest standards for eating and physical activity, we are investing in our future and generations to come.”
As part of this commitment:
- BGCA will adopt healthy guidelines in 3,400 clubs, reaching an estimated 3.5 million kids.
- NRPA will adopt healthy guidelines in 2,000 sites, reaching an estimated 1.5 million kids.
- BGCA and NRPA will aim to meet standards of serving healthy snacks such as fruits and vegetables, serving only healthy beverages like water and 100% juice, and provide nutrition education, encourage physical activity, and engage parents by using informational material and activities focused on healthy eating and physical activity.
- The Alliance for a Healthier Generation will provide the technical assistance and support to BGCA and NRPA to implement the new healthy guidelines.
“What we know is that active kids do better—in school and in life,” said PHA CEO Lawrence A. Soler. “Today’s commitments are another big step forward in getting our kids into more healthier environments throughout their day. I am so pleased to welcome NRPA and BGCA—two organizations that are absolutely critical to the communities, families and kids they serve—into the PHA family.”