by Marissa Borgford, Green Action Centre Volunteer
This year’s Active Healthy Kids Canada report card was recently released with unsettling results. Focusing specifically on the after school period (3pm to 6pm) Canada overall receives a failing grade for active living. The implications of this are simple – our kids aren’t getting enough exercise. After school is one of the most important times for physical activity. Children and youth should be taking advantage of the daylight hours and spending time exercising outside – especially as the weather continues to get warmer. It is apparent that fewer children are choosing to be active during the after school free period. Unfortunately one of the biggest reasons associated with this is a lack of opportunity.
Together Recreation Connections Manitoba and Green Action Centre are helping to remedy this problem. After the School Bell Rings: A Manitoba After School Recreation Program is aimed at providing opportunities for children and youth to be healthy and active after school hours are finished. The goal of the program is to implement community run programs that facilitate exercise as well as introduce physical activity, healthy eating and Active and Safe Routes to School programs into schools. It is our hope that awareness of the issue will also be raised and various other stakeholders will become involved. The program is just what the province needs to turn the “F” to an “A” on this year’s report card!