Culture of Health – coming to a park near you!

Did you know that 29% of high school students felt sad or hopeless
almost every day for 2 or more weeks in a row so that they stopped
doing some usual activities (2017; US Dept. of HHS)? Or that 2 in 5 Americans report that they sometimes or always feel their social relationships are not meaningful, and one in five say they feel lonely or socially isolated. Loneliness and social isolation can be as damaging to health as smoking 15 cigarettes a
day
(2019; Dept. of HSRA). These are startling statistics, but as John Lennon once famously said, “There are no problems, only solutions”! So let’s get solving!

The PRPS Health and Wellness Committee is excited to launch the Culture of Health program this year to address some of these community issues. What is the Culture of Health program you ask…let me tell you about it!

We all know being healthy and well doesn’t just mean being physically fit, but true, sustained wellness is a holistic endeavor. The Culture of Health program is aimed at promoting holistic wellness to children ages 5-12, in four key areas:

Mental Health – a state of successful mental functioning, positive self-image emotional stability and ability to adapt to change and cope with adversity

Intellectual Health – the ability to learn, grow from experiences and utilize intellectual capabilities

Physical Health – the conditioning of one’s body to include absence of disease and improved fitness level

Social Health – Learning to positively interact with others, understanding individuality within the framework of a community, gaining skills to communicate and handling conflict with peers

The Culture of Health (CoH) program is a free, 100% turn key option that can be implemented this year in OST and summer camps and we encourage all PRPS member communities to take part!

Some program nuts and bolts:

The CoH Program Handbook includes:

A. Program overview, goals and 4 H & W component definitions

B. Example of a weekly implementation model

C. 10-12 activities for each H & W component organized into a CoH cookbook

D. Each activity “recipe” includes goal, instructions and supplies; all activities involve common P & R supplies – no additional expenses!

All resource materials will be housed on the PRPS website:

A. CoH logo will be available to be added to program flyers, staff trainings and will identify your program as a CoH partner!

B. Program staff training video

C. Culture of Health program guide

The Health and Wellness Committee is super excited to roll the Culture of Health program out this year! But this is where we need your help! We all know the last year has been tough. Our kids are stuck in a virtual existence, positive social interactions are few and far between, and we can all see challenges ahead. Take advantage of this amazing resource and set your kids up for truly, truly improved health. Happy, connected, clear, confident, heart healthy happiness!

We look forward to discussing the Culture of Health program more at the 2021 PRPS Annual Conference in a few short weeks, but my advice…register today by simply emailing Emily Gates at egates@prps.org!

Author: Jason Lang

Director of Parks and Recreation East Goshen Township

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