The East Bay Regional Park District has applied for a Community Transformation Grant from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to expand health programs for youth, focusing on fighting childhood obesity.
The grant money would establish the “Get Outdoors! (GO!) Network for Kids Health,” a multiagency collaboration led by the park district. The GO! Network brings together parks, education and healthcare to collaborate on three strategies targeting “parks prescriptions” training for healthcare providers, school adoption of the Children’s Outdoor Bill of Rights to increase the use of parks in the teaching curriculum and promoting public policy to reduce park access barriers, particularly for individuals with the highest health risks.
This first-of-its-kind partnership includes Oakland Unified School District, West Contra Costa County Unified School District, Children’s Hospital Oakland, Eco Village in Richmond, Alameda County Office of Education and U.C. Berkeley Center for Weight and Health.
The park district is already working with Kaiser Permanent in its “Healthy Parks-Healthy People” program. The proposal for the expanded program is based on data showing that a large percentage of fifth and seventh graders in the Oakland and Richmond schools are at high risk in terms of obesity.
The agencies would focus on increasing awareness of the health benefits of outdoor recreation, reduce barriers to park access and encourage healthy lifestyles.
The group is seeking a grant of $2.6 million and expects to hear the result by the end of September.