| Healthy Summers for Kids: Turning Risk Into Opportunity|
NJSACC was pleased to participate in the National Summer Learning Association and their lead partner United Way Worldwide's Healthy Summers Summit in Baltimore, MD last week.
We were honored to meet experts from the areas of children's health and learning . We came together to discuss and share ideas to address the challenges to young people's health during the summer months, particularly weight gain and food insecurity.
Please download the brief below and think how your summer program can be a healthy summer for youth!
Many Americans have a nostalgic image of childhood summers, picturing a time when kids and families are active and outdoors, spending time together swimming, hiking, and taking family vacations. We may also picture summer as abundant in healthy fruits and vegetables, when food is fresh and produce is more available. But for many families and children, the reality is very different from this image.
When school doors close for the summer months, many children and families living in poverty face multiple, interrelated challenges. Learning loss, safety concerns, risk for obesity, and food insecurity all set children back developmentally and academically. Yet summer is often unrecognized as a unique time of year exacerbating these problems.
Many families struggle to find and pay for high-quality summer care for their children; many also lack access to healthy meals and safe places to play outdoors. In fact, emerging research is showing that young people's health may actually decline in summer as compared to the school year, and that several factors contribute to this decline, including lower levels of engagement in physical activity and lack of access to healthy meals.
The connection between mind and body is strong, and summer learning programs - which currently serve more than 14 million children nationally - have an important role to play in reversing negative health and nutrition patterns in support of their academic mission.
Healthy Summers for Kids: Turning Risk Into Opportunity
The purpose of the Healthy Summers for Kids: Turning Risk Into Opportunity brief is to draw attention to summer as a unique developmental period for youth-a time when risk for obesity and food insecurity both rise-by highlighting findings from recent research.
The brief also provides a window into opportunities to make positive change to improve children's health in summer, including a few ways that communities, schools, summer programs, health practitioners, and caregivers are already working to promote healthy habits, healthy eating, and increased physical activity.
CLICK HERE to Download a copy of:
Healthy Summers for Kids, Turning Risk Into Opportunity
The Healthy Summers Campaign
Given the strong connection between health and learning, and the evidence showing that risk for obesity and food insecurity both rise in summer, the National Summer Learning Association, in partnership with United Way Worldwide and with generous funding from
The Walmart Foundation, is taking the lead to elevate the importance of healthy summers for all young people.
The Healthy Summers Campaign will work to empower individuals and communities to reduce childhood obesity and malnutrition in summer, connect the issues of health and learning, advocate for improved policies, and provide guidance and support to summer programs and families for how they can more effectively support their children and youth. The Campaign will bring together partners from diverse disciplines to develop effective messages and summer program solutions to improve childhood health and nutrition.
NJSACC: The Statewide Network for New Jersey's Afterschool Communities is proud to support the Healthy Summers Campaign-stay tuned for more info to come!