Background: There is a public health crisis among America?s youth, born from the effects of poor nutrition and lack of physical activity. An estimated 33% of America?s children and adolescents are overweight or obese (Ogden et al, 2012). Chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease are more likely to occur if an individual is overweight during his or her childhood, which has long-term effects on the life of the child in addition to economic and social impacts on the U.S. as a nation (Office of the Surgeon General, 2010). Unfortunately, 44% of schools have reduced the number of physical education classes and recess, making it more difficult for youth to achieve the recommended amount of physical activity. In alignment with Priority 3: Out of School Time Healthy Eating and Physical Activity, Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) seeks to partner with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to further maximize our reach and impact by empowering states, school districts, OST providers and other CDC-funded organizations to implement evidence-based policies, practices, and programs that support healthy eating and physical activity among school-age children. Out-of-school time (OST) programs can help kids achieve the recommended amount of physical activity as well as enable them to be healthy and adopt behaviors that could decrease their risk of developing chronic diseases in adulthood. BGCA has established itself nationwide in communities as an OST organization for youth to engage in learning activities, which enhance the students? academic growth and personal development. Through its Culture of Wellness framework, BGCA has established a foundation for promoting healthy behaviors, reducing disparities, and addressing non-academic barriers to learning through evidence-based programs, policies, and professional development. Goal: The primary goal for this project is to utilize BGCA?s evidence-based health and wellness practices and trai
ning-of-trainers model to provide professional development and technical assistance to build the capacity of partnering school districts, state agencies, OST providers and CDC-funded organizations, and create a community of practice in youth-serving organizations at the local and national levels. Objectives: The objectives of this approach are 1) provide professional development and technical assistance to promote a Culture of Wellness in communities, 2) develop evidence-based tools and resources in collaboration with CDC to educate and communicate best OST practices in healthy eating and physical activity, and 3) build community and national level partnerships to improve the quality and use evidence-based strategies that promote a Culture of Wellness in school districts, state agencies and CDC- funded organizations. Feasibility: BGCA has prior success in implementing large-scale health and wellness training and programs with demonstrated, positive impact on youth outcomes. We also have a 155 year history of service and prior experience in managing government grant programs and administering federal funds. Significance: Through our broad network of community and national partners, this five-year project BGCA expects to impact 1,250 school district, states, OST providers and other CDC-funded organizations through professional development and technical assistance events, OST experiential learning opportunities and an established Community of Practice. Extending beyond the 4 million youth served by BGCA annually, we expect this collaboration to support healthy lifestyles for more than 200,000 youth. In doing so, we can improve the health and well-being of youth across America to create great futures of our children and our nation.