Ideas for Your Community
Let’s Move! is making great strides in our efforts to end childhood obesity, but we cannot reverse the current obesity trends without the the help of your communities and community leaders. To ensure a country where happy, healthy, lifestyles are the norm, community leaders have some of the biggest roles to play.
To reach our goals, Let’s Move! is collaborating with ServiceNation, a non-profit campaign working to ensure a lasting culture of service in which “Where do you serve?” becomes a ubiquitous question in every community and conversation. Both Let’s Move! and ServiceNation strongly believe that ending childhood obesity within a generation is a community effort that takes leaders of all kinds. It will take work from everyone: parents, teachers, students, grocery store owners, and more.
In January of 2011, Let’s Move! enlisted ServiceNation for an in-depth conversation on ways to utilize volunteering networks in the effort to end childhood obesity. The coalition of community leaders represented members from “youth service organizations, physical activity groups, city governments, and national non-profits,” and explored each of the essential Let’s Move! goals. ServiceNation leaders spent the day working on initiatives that would help activate volunteers at the county, city, and town level.
We know everyone has a role to play in combating the epidemic of childhood obesity. So what can you do? There are several things that you can explore for your own community, depending on its needs:
- Start a community garden in your area
- Work with youth to encourage physical activity
- Map playgrounds in your neighborhood: See which playspaces in your neighborhood are already marked on the KaBOOM! Playspace Finder and the fill in the holes and add to the existing map. A playspace is an area where you can play—a playground, soccer field, baseball diamond, basketball court, waterpark, and many other spots. Take pictures of each playground and create a list of items each playspace needs and rate it. You can even turn it into a game, with each team responsible for mapping a certain part of your community.
- Build a playground: Draw from the collective power of your community to create a new place to play for the kids. Use the KaBOOM! online project planner to go through every part of the playspace building process, from idea to fundraising to maintenance. The planner gives you all the tools you need to follow the KaBOOM! done-in-a-day, community-led build model. To start your own project and receive all sorts of helpful tips click here.
- Rally your city to become a Playful City USA: Playful City USA honors cities and towns across the nation committed to taking action for play. To learn more about Playful City USA visit here.