Healthy Eating and Active Living Programs at Recreation Centers Positively Impacting Youth

The Youth-Driven Healthy Recreation Centers Collective programming is making a difference for youth and families in the Globeville neighborhood at the Stapleton Recreation Center.  During a recent meeting with a GSK Program Facilitator and Stapleton staff member, a parent within earshot of the meeting began to rave about how her family has benefitted from the healthy eating and active living opportunities at Stapleton Recreation Center.  She spoke specifically about the Cooking Matters class and what it has meant for her timid, 13 year old daughter who took the quesadilla recipe home and made dinner for her family.  This is a family who watched the first CM Teens session from a distance, smelled the aroma of several meals cooked in the Stapleton kitchen, taste tested the Turkey Chili, and finally signed up her daughter.  The look on this mom’s face was priceless when her daughter was able to participate!

Getting youth engaged in an after school setting in a recreation center to discuss healthy eating and active living and the built environment has proven to be quite challenging at times for a variety of reasons at Swansea Recreation Center… until Girl Talk came along!  Girl Talk hosted 15 girls on the kickoff night and 18 girls at the second meeting!  Nearly half of the girls are new to the recreation center.  Girls are learning about the health impacts of different foods on their physical bodies.  They are also making social and mental health connections.  Corazon Voice and Heart and areTisanry are community partners providing resources to the Girl Talk participants.  In an out of school setting, youth vote with their presence for programs that they enjoy.  Girls Talk at Swansea Recreation Center has proved to be a workshop that girls are gaining a valuable experience from and appears to be changing their healthy eating and active living behaviors for the better!


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