Global Education Forum: Fla.’s afterschool programs set stage for Ga exercise programs in schools

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Obesity Initiative at UGA

This is post 5 of 5 regarding the 75th Annual Global Education Forum at the University of Georgia on April 2, 2013. Check the adjacent posts for more coverage.

This year’s forum theme was Obesity, Food Security, and Nutrition in Global Context.

During the afternoon, undergraduate and graduate students presented posters about their research. Because of Professor Bryan McCullick’s work with afterschool programs, I was struck by this study that evaluated afterschool programs in Florida schools. These school receive federal funds to promote their programs, and they could become a model for Georgia schools.

Minhong Kim, a sports management doctoral student, and James Zhang in kinesiology decided to look at the 21st Century Community Learning Centers Program, which was enacted by Congress under the No Child Left Behind Act, is an opportunity for students to enhance and reinforce academic lessons of the regular school day, while also allowing them to learn new skills and discover new opportunities after the regular school day has ended.

Florida has used funding to beef up physical activity in afterschool programs. It’s the only federally-funded resource for these programs.

They investigated 249 centers during the 2010-2011 school year and found both positives and negatives. Ultimately, they concluded, these “existing programs can help shape and mold successful programs for future participants.”