Healthy Out-of-School Time (HOST)

Healthy Out-of-School Time (HOST) Program


History & Vision:

In January 2009, the National Institute on Out-of-School Time (NIOST) at the Wellesley Centers for Women at Wellesley College, together with the University of Massachusetts Boston (UMB) and the YMCA of the USA, collaborated to found the Healthy Out-of-School Time Coalition (HOST)

The vision for this national coalition of leaders in the OST field is to foster health and well-being practices in afterschool programs nationwide, using science-based standards for healthy eating, physical activity, screen time, and social supports for these behaviors including staff, family and child engagement.

HOSTwebinar2A free recorded webinar introducing the standards and providing information on the importance of healthy eating and physical activity during the out-of-school time (OST) program hours is accessible here; OST leaders along with OST program staff are encouraged to log on and actively support healthy development for all youth!


HOST Goals:

  1. Develop a process to seek consensus on language for national quality standards that will lead to strengthening out-of-school time programs in the areas of health and well-being, including which best practices are needed by practitioners and leadership in the youthwork field. 
  2. Continue to raise awareness for our National AfterSchool Association Healthy Eating and Physical Activity Standards (NAA HEPA Standards)
  3. Build the HOST Coalition by identifying new organizations to join and adopt NAA HEPA Standards
  4. Promote the sharing of resources, tools, training, and technical assistance to support obesity prevention in out-of-school time
  5. Engage in research that guides best practice related to NAA HEPA Standards



HOST Coalition Members 


HOST Coalition Accomplishments:

2010-2011: Development of the NAA HEPA Standards for out-of-school time programs through research, literature review and input of coalition members

Adoption of Standards: Adoption of NAA HEPA Standards by the National AfterSchool Association (NAA) Board of Directors; YMCA of the USA; Alliance for a Healthier Generation


HOST News:

HOST applauds OST healthy environment
The HOST Coalition applauds the National Recreation and Park Association, Boys & Girls Club of America, the Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA), and the Alliance for a Healthier Generation for their recent announcement to create healthy environments for children who participate in OST programs. Read more>>

Read the original announcement on the PHA website.


Related NIOST Research:

Read more about NIOST's involvement in the evaluation of the BOKS before school program here

Read more about NIOST's study of healthy eating in out-of-school time here. 


Healthy Out-of-School Time Resources: