Texas Looks to Out-of-School Time to Improve Youth Health

texas seal 250Texas ranks seventh highest among all states in adolescents that are overweight and obese, with a 2011 youth obesity rate of 20 percent. But with more than 880,000 Texas youth in out-of-school time (OST) programs, according to the Afterschool Alliance, OST providers have the potential to impact children's healthy eating and physical activity. A new study has shown how they are doing so, what more they can do, and how a pending bill could help.

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HOST Member BOKS Featured on Today Show

boks studyA recent Today show segment featured HOST member BOKS (Build Our Kids' Success), which offers children a before-school physical activity program. And a new study of BOKS' before-school physical activity program has also found correlations between BOKS activity and improvement of specific executive functions in first- and second-grade children.

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HOST HEPA Roundup, November 18, 2016

kids on playscapeThe latest in our regular roundups of healthy eating and physical activity news from HOST members and others.

Success Stories

  • A grant from the Chicago Cubs' Cubs Charities helped Action for Healthy Kids work with eight Chicago Public Schools and nearly 3,400 students to hold one-mile fun runs/walks. Many also offered healthy snacks for runners and some coupled the runs with school-wide health fairs for students and families.
  • The Kids' Safe and Healthful Foods Project of the Pew Charitable Trusts, profiles James A. Cawood Elementary School in Kentucky, where more than 8 in 10 students qualify for free or reduced-price lunches. A kitchen equipment grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture for a new combi oven has helped improve the quality and efficiency of food preparation, which in turn has helped boost academic performance.
  • Share Our Strength reports on how Salk Elementary School in Mesa, Arizona, worked with the Alliance for a Healthier Generation’s Healthy Schools Program to pilot a breakfast in the classroom program.
  • The National League of Cities recognized more than 30 cities and counties, and three local leaders, for their efforts to improve nutrition and increase physical activity in their communities through Let's Move! Cities, Towns and Counties, a major component of First Lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move! Initiative.
  • Alliance for a Healthier Generation has compiled "15 Inspiring Local Stories from 2016" on the power of healthy out-of-school time.


Healthy Success Stories

kids runningThe Olympics are this week, representing for some the pinnacle of athletic success. Here are some stories by HOST members that show many other types of success related to physical activity and healthy eating.

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HOST Members Respond to New Child Nutrition Bill

preschoolers lunchThe Senate Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry Committee on January 20 unanimously approved the bipartisan Improving Child Nutrition Integrity and Access Act of 2016, which would provide a five-year reauthorization of the Child Nutrition Act and govern the national school lunch and breakfast programs. It now heads to the Senate floor. Several HOST members have offered their insights on the bill.

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HOST Spotlight on Kathleen Tullie

Kathleen Tullie, BOKSKathleen Tullie is the founder and executive director of HOST member BOKS (Build Our Kids' Success) and director of social responsibility at Reebok International. She was kind enough to share some of her thoughts about her organization's work and the importance of healthy eating and physical activity.

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HOST Spotlight on Amy Moyer

amy moyerAmy Moyer is vice president of field operations for HOST member Action for Healthy Kids (AFHK), which fights childhood obesity, undernourishment, and physical inactivity by partnering with volunteer teachers, students, parents, and others to create healthful school changes. Moyer, who has a Master in Public Health and a Bachelor in Dietetics/Nutrition, Fitness and Health from Purdue University, began as a volunteer with AFKH 12 years ago, and has been a national staff member for eight.

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You're Invited: Free HEPA Webinars

HOSTexerciseAfterschool professionals and others are invited to two upcoming free webinars on how to teach students from early childhood through middle school about healthy nutrition and physical activity choices.

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HOST Members on Events in Baltimore

baltimore flagHOST member organizations, including one based in Baltimore, have responded to recent protests in that city following the death of 25-year-old Freddie Gray while in police custody. They look at how the systemic roots of the protests also underlie disparities in healthy eating and physical activity -- but they also encourage recreation and food programs to support and sustain children and youth in these communities and offer them opportunities for meaningful action.

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Preparing for Summer

flowerIt's not too soon to start thinking about summer. HOST members offer some suggestions for how to bring healthy eating and physical activity to our schools and communities in the coming season!

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The HOST site is managed by the National Institute on Out-of-School Time, a program of the Wellesley Centers for Women at Wellesley College

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