Community service for kids can take many forms, but perhaps the most fun way is to play their way through a community service project and get themselves and their community healthier in the process.
According to the American Heart Association, childhood obesity rates are at an all-time high: today, nearly one in three kids and teens in the United States are obese or overweight. We know that physical activity produces overall physical, psychological and social benefits, and that inactive children are likely to become inactive adults.
Kids helping other kids learn to maintain a healthy lifestyle is an extremely effective way to help kids make an impact in their community, build friendships, and learn about the importance of community service and philanthropy. There are several organizations currently working to encourage kids to get out and play in order to build and maintain a healthy lifestyle. These organizations also offer resources and opportunities to help you set up programs in your schools and communities
A couple of these are:
- Plan a KaBoom Play Day. Kaboom is an organization that strives to have a great place to play within walking distance of every child. In addition, Kaboom offers the ability to plan and execute a play day. Their website says, “KaBOOM! Play Day is a celebration to advocate that play belongs for all kids, in all communities. A Play Day in your town will help build awareness for the importance of play, strengthen your community, and bring old-fashioned fun to your neighborhood!”
- NFL Play 60 Challenge: I’m sure we have all seen a commercial or billboard for the NFL Play60 campaign. It has been an excellent way for the NFL and its players to get out in front of the public in an organized and consistent fashion. Play60 has teamed up with the American Heart Association to offer resources for you to do your own Play60 challenge in your school or community. Check out the website for some great materials.
These are just a few ideas, as as with any project it doesn’t have to be super formalized or over-planned. Just make sure you think of some ways to measure the success of your project, so you walk away with a tangible amount of benefit to the community. In this case, it could be as simple as number of kids that played for 60 minutes or total number of minutes played by all kids combined. The most important part is to have kids involved and energized when it comes to the inception, planning, and execution of the project. To apply for a grant to kick off your own play day in your community, click on the button below.