HOST applauds OST healthy environments

February 27, 2014

The Healthy Out-of-School Time (HOST) Coalition applauds the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA), Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA), the Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA) and the Alliance for a Healthier Generation (the Alliance) for their recent announcement to create healthy environments for children who participate in out-of-school time (OST) programs. With this announcement, NRPA and BGCA join the YMCA of the USA in committing to implement Healthy Eating and Physical Activity (HEPA) standards that ensure more than 14 million kids are getting the healthiest care possible during out-of-school time. NRPA, BGCA, PHA, the YMCA of the USA and the Alliance are among 42 organizations and individuals representing direct service providers and professional development and resource suppliers that champion the National AfterSchool Association HEPA Standards through the HOST Coalition. Members of the HOST Coalition provide a range of support for the OST field, from curricula and toolkits to research and articles, to help make implementation of the HEPA standards as easy as possible.

Currently at least 8.4 million children participate in afterschool programs across the United States. When also including other youth, such as those who participate in summer programs, the out-of-school time realm represents a significant opportunity to ensure healthier settings for our kids. Encouraging organizations, large and small, to commit to improving access to healthy foods and physical activity will help our children live healthier lives and help reduce childhood obesity rates in the U.S.


About The Healthy Out of School Time Coalition: In January 2009, the National Institute on Out-of-School Time (NIOST) at the Wellesley Centers for Women at Wellesley College, together with Dr. Jean Wiecha and the YMCA of the USA (Y-USA), collaborated to found the Healthy Out-of-School Time Coalition (HOST Coalition). 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. For more information visit

Click here to view the announcement on the PHA (Partnership for a Healthier America) website.

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    "NIOST has been an anchor for numerous school age care projects we do, including ASQ (After-School Quality) and Links to Learning. They are a nationally respected organization that Pennsylvania has partnered with for over 20 years."

    – Betsy O. Saatman, TA Specialist/SAC Initiatives, Pennsylvania Key

    "NIOST was a core partner in supporting the development of quality improvement systems across the nine cities that participated in The Wallace Foundation Next Generation Afterschool System-Building Initiative. The NIOST team worked well with other technical assistance partners in the initiative, always willing to pitch in and collaborate with others to make our professional learning community meetings a team effort. I truly hope the Foundation has an opportunity to partner with them in the future."

    – Priscilla M. Little, Initiative Manager, The Wallace Foundation


    "NIOST has been a leader in the out-of-school time field for as long as I can remember, and I have relied on their research, tools, and advice to improve my practice throughout my career. Their staff members are good partners and good listeners, and their influence across the country is palpable."

    – Jane Quinn, Vice President and Director of National Center for Community Schools, Children's Aid Society

    "Georgia Hall, Ellen Gannett, and the NIOST team have been instrumental in driving the healthy afterschool movement. Their dedication to quality practice, informed policy, and collective impact is instrumental in our effort to create healthier communities."

    – Daniel W. Hatcher, Director, Community Partnerships, Alliance for a Healthier Generation

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The National Institute on Out-of-School Time

A program of the Wellesley Centers for Women at Wellesley College

Wellesley Centers for Women
Wellesley College
106 Central Street
Wellesley, MA 02481-8203 USA
Directions to NIOST

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