June 10, 2022

On today's show, we look back at four of our earlier nonprofits working to keep today's kids active and healthy...Soccer in the Streets, Girls on the Run Chicago, A World Fit for Kids and Cobb Police Activities League.

The fitness habits a child develops are likely to last a lifetime. Studies have shown that exercise can be beneficial to a child’s overall health later in life.

Today, less than half of youth aged 6 to 7 years meet the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans published by the U.S. Department of Health and Social Services.

Kids fitness levels are plummeting and childhood obesity levels are at record highs. Children are more sedentary now more than ever.

The percentage of children with obesity in the United States has more than tripled since the 1970s. Today, about one in five school-aged children (ages 6–19) has obesity.

Soccer in the Streets is an Atlanta nonprofit that empowers underserved youth through soccer training, character development, mentoring, and employability programs. @soccerstreets

Soccer in the Streets is home to the world’s first soccer field in a train station. Bev had the opportunity to visit the unique Five Points MARTA Station Urban Soccer Field…the first of many planned for Atlanta. A crazy idea that is breaking down barriers. They're committed to leveling the playing field so that all youth can play soccer and find new opportunity in life regardless of where they live.

Bev sat down at the field with Lauren Glancy, Sanjay Patel and Tess Patton from Soccer in Streets to talk about their programs for youth.

While in Chicago, we had the opportunity to visit with Cathy Kruse, the Director of Communications at the nonprofit, Girls on the Run Chicago.

Girls on the Run is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization dedicated to creating a world where every girl knows and activates her limitless potential and is free to boldly pursue her dreams. They inspire girls to be joyful, healthy and confident using a fun, experience-based curriculum which creatively integrates running. Girls on the Run-Chicago (GOTRC) is the largest council of Girls on the Run International.

A World Fit for Kids (WFIT) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit committed to ensuring that students are fit, healthy and ready to learn. They provide vital healthy behaviors programming and targeted academic support to instill in youth the knowledge, skills and confidence required to make healthy choices that last a lifetime. WFIT training and programs integrate youth development principles with physical activity to positively impact the lives of students and the adults who work with them.

Since 1993, they have brought more than $46 million into under-served communities in Los Angeles, made life-changing opportunities available to over 300,000 low-income children and young people and trained more than 10,000 classroom teachers and expanded learning staff members.

Today we are joined by Normandie Nigh, the CEO of A World Fit for Kids, Happi Price, Rauol and William.

Cobb Police Athletic League (PAL) is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to make a positive difference in the lives of young people ages 4-18. Cobb PAL focuses on juvenile crime prevention through athletic and recreational activities. Police officers serve as coaches and mentor the children. Cobb PAL now offers a competitive track program, a football camp, midnight basketball, baseball camp, soccer camp, stepping, martial arts, and mentoring. @CobbPAL

The PAL program was founded in 1914 in New York City. PAL is a national program with a membership exceeding 1.5 million children and more than 400 law enforcement agencies serving over 700 cities with 1,700 facilities throughout the United States.

Studies have shown that if a young person engages and interacts with a law enforcement on the ball field, gym or classroom, the youth will likely come to respect the laws that police officers enforce. Such respect is beneficial to the youth, the police officer, the neighborhood and the business community.

Bev had the opportunity to talk with Alicia Hicks, Executive Director and Sergeant Wayne Delk, Public Information Officer.