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ICYMI: Major Out-of-School Time Commitments Unveiled


Ahead of its upcoming annual summit in Washington, D.C. next week, Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA) announced that it has secured commitments from the Boys and Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) and the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) to create healthier environments for 5 million children.

The two organizations will work over the next five years to ensure than 5,400 sites nationwide adopt strong standards for nutrition and physical activity, including by encouraging sites to join the Alliance for a Healthier Generation’s Healthy Out-of-School Time Initiative. By doing so, sites will get the tools and support they need to institute healthy changes. BGCA and NRPA are following the lead of the YMCA of the USA, which instituted similar changes at its sites back in 2011.

Officially unveiled by First Lady Michelle Obama during a star-studded event in Miami, the out-of-school time announcement is one in a series made by the White House last week designed to address the childhood obesity epidemic. Obama also introduced a proposal to limit the marketing of unhealthy food and beverages in schools and showcased the proposed design for the new Nutrition Facts food packaging labels.

“We’ve revamped our school meal program, so soon, millions more kids will be starting their day with a healthy meal… and they’ll get another good meal at lunch, a meal that includes more fruits vegetables and whole grains,” Obama said. “They are getting active throughout the day, whether that’s during recess, or PE class, or during an exercise break between lessons. And when the school day ends, they’ll head to an after-school program like this one, and they’ll get even more nutritious food and even more opportunities to get active.”

Actress Amy Poehner, star of the television series Parks and Recreation, appeared alongside Obama at the event (and the First Lady is expected to appear in the series finale of the show). Retired NBA star Alonzo Mourning and TV personality Mario Lopez also appeared at the event.

PHA works with the private sector to secure commitments designed to help children lead healthier lives. It also announced a commitment last week with the Learning Care Group to enact child care goals for physical activity, screen time, food, beverages, infant feeding and parent engagement at its oversees 900 childcare facilities across the country.

On Wednesday, PHA will kick-off its third annual summit at the Washington Hilton, where hundreds of nonprofit, government, philanthropic, academic and industry leaders are expected to gather to find ways to develop tangible solutions to the childhood obesity epidemic. PHA promises that this year’s summit will include solutions-orientated breakout sessions designed to help conference attendees walk away with actual ways to tackle obesity.

Obama also is scheduled to deliver the closing keynote address, and Let’s Move! executive director Sam Kass will host the summit’s Innovation Challenge.