Green Action Centre is partnering with Recreation Connections Manitoba on an exciting new initiative called After the School Bell Rings. The pilot program will apply Active and Safe Routes to School and School Travel Planning programming to a blended framework that will promote and support increased access and opportunities for children and youth, ages 6-12 years, to engage in physical activity and healthy living practices in the critical after school time period.

The initiative is funded through the Public Health Agency of Canada Healthy Living Fund and the Province of Manitoba until March 2013.

Working with key stakeholders across the province the project will aim to achieve the following:

• Explore and implement strategies to address barriers to participation in active transportation and after school programs

• Build leadership and community capacity for quality program delivery that is accessible, inclusive and diverse

• Have after school service providers adopt and integrate physical activity, healthy eating and school travel planning into their programs. This will result in more children and youth meeting the minimum daily physical activity targets

• Create new networking, program and resource tools that can be accessed by staff and volunteers who work in after school programs as well for those new organizations, new communities and/or new schools that are looking to introduce an after school program into their service delivery system

• Profile best and promising practices of integrating recreation, physical activity, healthy eating and active transportation

• Engage multiple partnerships and networks to support and promote active after school programs and school travel planning

• Develop and implement a communication and messaging strategy to build awareness among recreational professionals, other afterschool providers, government and school officials, community leaders and parents about the urgent need for quality afterschool recreation program and the important health and social benefits of integrating physical activity, healthy eating and school travel planning into after school time period

Recreation Connections Manitoba is the lead organization with Green Action Centre partnering to focus on the school travel planning aspects of the initiative.

Download the guide here: After School Resource Guide

For more information, visit www.afterschoolmanitoba.ca and www.recconnections.com.