Obesity is the number one health problem facing our children and youth, and failure to deal with it in a meaningful way will have serious health consequences for them and major societal consequences. According to the California Department of Health Services’ 2006 Obesity Prevention Plan, unless something is changed, a staggering one in three children born in the year 2000 will develop type 2 diabetes. And even more ominous, one in every two children born in the year 2000 who are racially or ethnically diverse will develop type 2 diabetes. Afterschool programs provide an environment that can make a tremendous difference to children across the state—because state funding focuses on low income schools and because afterschool programs have more flexibility than the regular school day, they provide excellent opportunities for addressing the most at-risk children.
In order to help strengthen afterschool programs and help them improve how they work with children and their families–as well as with their staff–to embrace healthy behaviors in nutrition and physical activity, the Center for Collaborative Solutions (CCS) entered into a partnership with the California Department of Public Health’s (CDPH) Network for a Healthy California in 2004. This became a multi-year initiative, Healthy Behaviors for Children and Families: Strengthening Afterschool Programs through Exemplary Nutrition, Physical Activity and Food Security Practices, funded by the Network for a Healthy California (using USDA Food Stamp Program funds), the David and Lucile Packard Foundation and The California Endowment. The first product of this partnership was the publication of a guide for afterschool programs.
If you have questions or would like to learn more about the new Exemplary Practices Guide, please contact Kathy B. Lewis at CCS (firstname.lastname@example.org or  567-9911).