San Antonio Schools Open Their Gyms For Summer Pilot Program


Latino Health Open Use Gym

Twelve middle schools in the San Antonio Independent School District are opening the doors to their gym four days a week as a pilot program to help keep students active over the summer. Creating opportunities for kid's to remain active over the summer is critical to build a culture of health and reduce their risk for obesity and chronic disease. Particularly in disadvantaged neighborhoods which lack safe places for kids to play. The Athletic Conditioning & Enrichement (ACE) pilot program was developed by the district's assistant athletic director, Courtney Davis. For two hours a day, coaches teach middle school students about muscle strength, injury prevention, and nutrition. In collaboration with district's summer meals program, students receive two meals a day, before ...

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Although Disparities Still Exist, More Kids Know How to Swim


Latino Health physical activity swimming

The summer swim seasons begins this weekend for most of the country, but many kids have no to low swim ability. In fact, 40% of Caucasian children, 45% of Hispanic children, and nearly 64% of African-American children have no to low swimming ability, according to a new study conducted by the University of Memphis and University of Nevada-Las Vegas. Although there is a 5-10% improvement in overall swimming ability, 87% of kids with no or low swim ability plan to go swimming this summer at least once, putting them at risk for drowning. What can your community do to boost support for swimming lessons to prevent the horrific tragedy of drowning? Learn more about the complexities of swimming: Swimming may be the most promising physical activity to get Latino kid's active. ...

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Report: Wolf Whistles and Creepy Compliments


Latino health walking safety

By the time many girls reach middle school, suggestive comments - along with unwanted touches, demands for smiles from strangers, and other forms of harassment - become a common experience in public places, according to a new report from the Safe Routes to School National Partnership (SRTS). Street harassment is a major barrier for kids and adults trying to get around on foot, by bicycle, or on public transit. When kids don't feel safe, it can cause them to miss school and can negatively impact their mental and physical health, as well as academic achievement. The Wolf Whistles and Creepy Compliments: How Safe Routes to School Programs Can Take Action to Protect Kids from Street Harassment report includes: Introduction  Street Harassment: What, Who, and How? What ...

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Let’s Get It Done! Festival Benefits Kids in Phoenix



The annual Get It Done! Festival will take place on Saturday, Jan. 14, 2017 at Marc T. Atkinson Middle School in Phoenix, AZ (40.48% Latino population). The free family event provides medical, dental, and vision checkups to school-age kids. There are also free immunization shots, haircuts, and other services for the whole family. In order to reduce health disparities, it is critical to address inequities in programs, practices, and policies. Join our site, connect with others, and get involved. Experts will also be on hand to answer medical questions, help with health insurance, tax preparation, education, and more. There will also be live entertainment, arts and crafts, and games for the family. Read more about the event here. Read stories similar to this ...

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Two PE Teachers Bring 60 Minutes of Daily Physical Activity to Students Before or After School



Many Latino students don’t meet daily recommendations of physical activity because they lack access to quality activity opportunities during school and they are burdened by barriers to access quality activity opportunities after school, such as safety, availability and cost. Kids that don’t meet daily recommendations of physical activity are at increased risk for obesity and other adverse health outcomes. Two PE teachers in Edmonds School District in Washington developed a before/after school program as well as a recess program to help kids reach 60 minutes of recommended daily activity on most days of the week. They developed these programs to be implemented in schools to reduce accessibility barriers associated with safety, availability and cost. EMERGENCE: Awareness: Jennifer ...

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“Fields for All” Brings Soccer Fields and Futsal Courts to Recreation Deserts in Multnomah County



Many Latino kids live in “recreation deserts,” which lack access to safe, affordable physical activity opportunities. Therefore, they often do not meet daily physical activity recommendations and are at increased risk for obesity. One way to reduce these barriers and increase physical activity among Latino children is to provide free, safe recreation facilities in their neighborhood with culturally relevant programming. Two community-driven initiatives in Multnomah County, Ore., have crossed paths in their efforts to reduce recreation deserts in disadvantaged neighborhoods by building and fixing soccer fields and futsal courts. EMERGENCE Awareness:  Oregon residents Shawn Levy and Ricki Ruiz love soccer and know it is good for kids and adults. But each found that soccer, and ...

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Afterschool Bike Clubs Empower Physical Activity, Leadership for Students in Kansas City



Middle-school students in the FreeWheels for Kids program are learning what it means to be leaders for healthy change. By bringing bike clubs to various schools and facilities across Kansas City, and its growing Latino population, this nonprofit is helping kids have fun and stay active, while teaching them how to fix bikes, build nature trails, and to voice their desire for a bike friendly community with bike-friendly streets. EMERGENCE Awareness: Benjamin Alexander was already an avid bicyclist when he started working at a local community center, where he mentored kids in Kansas City, Kan., which is 28% Latino. “I rode my bike to work every day,” Alexander said. At the community center in spring 2011, he was fixing his bike when a middle-school student asked him how he ...

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NYC Stickball Program Brings Physical Activity to Latinos in ‘El Barrio’



Kids in the predominantly Latino community of East Harlem (El Barrio) were in great need of physical activity programing and safe places to play. Alex Sabater and Deborah Quinones wanted to change that so they teamed up to create Young Bucks Sports, a non-profit aimed at preventing childhood obesity through teaching the sport and tradition of stickball to youth. Now Young Bucks Sports offers multiple activities to youth in Harlem for free, including: a summer stickball institute, pop-up playgrounds, a march to prevent obesity, and an annual festival with activities aimed at preventing obesity in the community. EMERGENCE Awareness: Alex Sabater loves stickball and loves to share the same with others in New York City (NYC). The game, which is especially popular among Latinos, is a ...

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Photovoice & Community Partnerships Bring PE Credit Recovery Program to Latinas in New Britain, Conn.



Counselors at New Britain High School were concerned about the future of Latina teens who were not passing PE and risked not graduating. Fortunately, a local nonprofit taught a group of Latina teens how to take photos and use them to inspire action—a technique called photovoice. Their efforts helped unite the nonprofit, the New Britain YWCA, and New Britain High School, who together pushed to establish an after-school PE credit recovery program. Now, Latina girls are getting the physical education they need to lead a healthy lifestyle, and the ongoing collaboration between community organizations has led to the development of a new hub for health called The House of Teens (HOT). EMERGENCE Awareness/Learn: The 37% Latino town of New Britain, Conn., was struggling with obesity in ...

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Parents Help Expand Bike/Walk to School Opportunities for Kids in Fairfax, Va.



Jeff Anderson, a parent at Wolftrap Elementary School in Fairfax, Va., wanted his daughter to bike to school. Unfortunately, the school had no bike racks. He went to the principal and the school installed bike racks. Anderson then joined other parents, school officials, and community partners to improve one of the school district’s transportation policies. Now parents from all over the community, including those with large Latino populations, have created safe routes for kids to walk and bike to district schools. EMERGENCE Awareness: In Spring 2008, Jeff Anderson noticed that there were no bike racks at Wolftrap Elementary School in Vienna, Va., a city with a 12% Latino population. An avid bicyclist, Anderson wanted his then-first-grade daughter to learn biking’s sense of ...

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