Kids Lead the Way

by Christine Tubbs | Apr 09, 2010
| 13 Comments
Competition Winner

This entry has been selected as a winner in the
Challenge I: Ideas for Addressing Obesity in Minnesota competition.

Summary:

Our idea is to facilitate the creation of “Kids Lead the Way,” a youth-led program, where students create once a week field days and activities for their classmates with community partners. Participants will be asked to bring ideas for “active” pick-up games, like Kick-the-Can, that can be played at the field day, and then replayed with family and friends later. Each site will have the autonomy to determine what is beneficial for its participants, giving kids the ownership and opportunity to explore and establish health and fitness activities in their lives, with their friends, and in their community. Some groups may want to train for a 5k walk/run; others may have access to a pool and decide to have swimming as the primary focus. The goal is to have the kids be active decision makers in creating and implementing the program.

Local personal trainers have volunteered to meet weekly with individual groups. The trainers will assess the needs of the group and give them ideas on how to establish and obtain fitness goals. Kids will be encouraged to create and bring healthy snacks to share at each field day. Recipes will be kid tested, approved or improved upon. All recipes will be nutritionally analyzed with the help of dietitians from the local hospital. At the end of the program, a cookbook filled with the recipes, activities and insights from the participants will be compiled and sold to raise funds to repeat and expand the program.

First Name

Christine

Last Name

Tubbs

About You

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First Name

Christine

Last Name

Tubbs

Country

United States, MN

City

Country

United States, MN

City

About You

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About Your Organization

Organization Name

Organization Website

Organization Phone

Organization Address

Your idea

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Name your idea

Kids Lead the Way

Describe your idea

Our idea is to facilitate the creation of “Kids Lead the Way,” a youth-led program, where students create once a week field days and activities for their classmates with community partners. Participants will be asked to bring ideas for “active” pick-up games, like Kick-the-Can, that can be played at the field day, and then replayed with family and friends later. Each site will have the autonomy to determine what is beneficial for its participants, giving kids the ownership and opportunity to explore and establish health and fitness activities in their lives, with their friends, and in their community. Some groups may want to train for a 5k walk/run; others may have access to a pool and decide to have swimming as the primary focus. The goal is to have the kids be active decision makers in creating and implementing the program.
Local personal trainers have volunteered to meet weekly with individual groups. The trainers will assess the needs of the group and give them ideas on how to establish and obtain fitness goals. Kids will be encouraged to create and bring healthy snacks to share at each field day. Recipes will be kid tested, approved or improved upon. All recipes will be nutritionally analyzed with the help of dietitians from the local hospital. At the end of the program, a cookbook filled with the recipes, activities and insights from the participants will be compiled and sold to raise funds to repeat and expand the program.

How do you define your "community"?

The Stillwater Area Public Schools community is one of many townships and cities. The district stretches 30 miles along the St. Croix River from Marine on St. Croix south to Afton, and covers approximately 150 square miles. Each of the contributing neighborhoods has its own culture and expectations for its populace. From pre-natal care at the Early Childhood Education Center, through graduation from Stillwater Area High School, families depend on Stillwater Area Public Schools for much more than an exceptional education. The schools are a focal point for many family and neighborhood centered activities. From musical and theatrical productions to fields and gyms for sports activities, the buildings and grounds are a primary gathering place for many community events.

By annually hosting a 5k run/walk/fun run for our schools, The Partnership Plan has created a connection between community building and fitness. The “Kids Lead the Way” program would be an extension of the dedication The Partnership Plan staff and volunteers have to the health and fitness of our greater community.

As home to the first school in Minnesota, Stillwater has always been the leader in giving our students the educational tools they need to succeed. Today the 3R’s of learning are expected, but making sure our students are healthy and fit to apply and enjoy their new found knowledge is paramount. A healthy change is in the wind for our community, and the kids are ready to lead the charge.

Tell us how you think the issue of obesity is affecting your community

Obesity is on the rise, and the health ramifications are far reaching. Our School Board has wrestled with increasing educational requirements from the state, with decreasing emphasis on health, physical education, and funding that supports healthy behaviors. Stillwater is fortunate to have a first-rate hospital, and many senior centers that are involved with our youth. Our community understands the importance of quality health care at all ages; a healthy community benefits everyone. The mission of The Partnership Plan is “To provide special funding and resources for students and staff to enhance the quality of education in Stillwater Area Public Schools. Our vision is: The enhancement of effective long-term partnerships among schools, individuals, community and business that will enrich education in Stillwater Area Public Schools while benefiting all partners. The consensus of our community health care providers is that healthy students make better learners, who’ve stated “The emotional struggles kids experience when they don't fit in, especially low self esteem, are huge, impacting all aspects of their learning” and “Avoidance of Physical Education classes, where kids fatigue more easily, only escalates the problem.” Research and anecdotal evidence supports the need for concerted efforts to combat obesity, with a short-term and long-term view and action plan. Children that are healthy and active are better able to be contributing members of their community and engaged learners. Helping children create healthy behaviors, with a ‘hands-on’ and interactive approach, with partners in our community, is a crucial part of The Partnership Plan’s long-term work.

Why should your idea be selected?

The Partnership Plan has worked tirelessly to create exceptional educational opportunities for students, always keeping their interest at the heart of all our decisions. We have seen student-generated ideas flourish when thoroughly evaluated adult concepts have failed; Stillwater youth are excited about this project and opportunity.

Building upon the popular annual field days, which each school hosts in the spring, the concept has been well received and the tools for creating the event are readily available. The suggested program begins as a summer project, but is intended to expand into a year-round after-school program.

“Kids Lead the Way” focuses on creating and integrating healthy lifestyle choices that become habitual, and encourages a sense of neighborhood and community. More importantly, it is fun! Taking kids back to a time when neighborhood pick-up games were the norm, yet providing them with the leeway to make the games applicable to their generation, is essential to the success of the program.

We are committed to supporting youth with the tools they need to create a unique experience that reflects their values. Staff and volunteers will help youth incorporate valuable communication tools to promote their events, such as Facebook Groups and texting for spreading the word about the field days; blogs for creating online journals about the experience; recording and publishing progress for future users.

Making healthy lifestyle choices needs to be fun and instinctive. With the right balance of education, demonstration, and participation, we know “Kids Lead the Way” can achieve that goal.

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Muhammad Shahbaz said: Out-door along with indoor actions along with Event tickets on passbook games are really best for Kids for they preserving fresh heads ... about this Competition Entry. - 1708 days ago read more >
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melissa camden said: Parents will make all the possible things to make their children happy and provide them with all the good things money can buy because ... about this Competition Entry. - 1885 days ago read more >
Martina Yusay said: What a great deal of project and I like this one. I hope you will continue being so helpful. - Texas Lending about this Competition Entry. - 1937 days ago read more >
Cluffy Lee said: Out-door and indoor activities and games are really good for Kids for they keeping young minds active and engaged is key to promoting ... about this Competition Entry. - 1945 days ago read more >
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Jon Camfield said: I love the matchmaking that I see happening in this comment thread! about this Competition Entry. - 2743 days ago read more >
Susanna Gorodisher said: Great idea! Let's hope all the districts in MN and in the COUNTRY follow this lead. Our kids are our future and to stop this epidemic ... about this Competition Entry. - 3148 days ago read more >
L Livermore said: AWESOME! I love the idea that the program is run by the kids themselves - with older kids helping younger kids & younger kids having ... about this Competition Entry. - 3148 days ago read more >