Supporting San Jose Parks, Trails, and Recreation Programs
KIDS@PLAY allows more youth to participate in programs this summer and helps provide a more well-rounded activity experience. The childhood obesity problem is a nationwide problem that actually impacts low income youth more than young people in the general population.
Part of the program will emphasize the value of having and maintaining a healthy diet for a lifetime and that fitness is also a lifetime goal. KIDS@PLAY seeks to provide incentives for youth to get and stay healthy, as well as funding their participation in PRNS youth activities.
The newly-launched KIDS@PLAY program is underway and helping to create a healthy, active summer for many San Jose youth who otherwise would have little or nothing to do. Camp San Jose is the annual program that serves thousands of kids every year. San Jose Parks Foundation’s KIDS@PLAY program is sponsoring dozens of kids by paying part of their camp fee, enabling low-income children to have the same experience as those can afford to pay.
Each of the Camp San Jose sites, which include parks and community centers, formed a team to compete in the 2012 Junior Games, which were held on Thursday, July 26, 2012 at Emma Prusch Farm Park. Each participating team took on a country identity (which included costumes of all sorts) Hundreds of very lively kids paraded into the Opening Ceremonies. They led in stretching exercises and then took to the big green field for the games, which included every manner of running and jumping – including such events as Sack Races, Summer Snowball Throw (sponges), Hurdle Jumping, and others.
Everyone was fed a healthy lunch and were also told about the healthy choices they need to make everyday with regard to diet and exercise. Mostly, though, it was a day of fun and games in a celebratory atmosphere. Everyone gathered at the end to see the awards for most energetic team. KIDS@PLAY helped pay for the healthy lunch. A Special Thanks goes to San Jose Parks Foundation Members and KIDS@PLAY Donors for providing funding, especially to eBay Foundation for its exemplary leadership gift.
Your strong support as individual donors and members has given San Jose Parks Foundation the solid footing for the first year and a half that has allowed the foundation to move into the corporate sector for support and to create intiatives that will have a greater impact on the community.
One of the first intiatives is KIDS@PLAY, which is being launched this spring. eBay Foundation helped give us a great start by providing a $10,000 grant to support the program. To read the full media release, click here.
KIDS@PLAY was developed in response to a community need that ran right into the budget cuts for programs serving youth. Parks Recreation & Neighborhood Services has always been able to provide youth activities over the years, often allowing low income youth to pay lower prices for fee-based programs.
Budget cuts have caused many of these programs to disappear in the last few years and have curtailed the availability of "scholarships" for low income (and generally at risk) children. More and more programs charge fees in order to stay in operation, compounding the problem.