Posted: Aug 1, 2012 2:14 PM by Madelyn Monteath, KSBY News
More than 800 Santa Barbara area youth, many between the ages of 9 - 11, have logged more than 750,000 minutes of physical activity this summer through the "Power Up Your Summer!" (PUYS) Challenge. And to help celebrate their accomplishment organizers threw a "Summer of Champions" celebration where kids were rewarded certificates of completion for tracking at least 60 minutes of daily physical activity over the past six weeks.
The accomplishments of the youth who took part in this summer's PUYS Challenge at these sites were noted with four consecutive celebrations held daily from July 31, through August 3 at each of the Santa Barbara sites. In keeping with this "Summer of Champions," each event was themed with similar closing ceremonies during which the kids participated in super charged, fun games and activities and concluding with them receiving certificates for their participation in PUYS.
The daily activity goal of PUYS was achieved by the kids having three recess times where they participated in outdoor play. They also had lessons for an hour every day in nutrition or were able to get involved in a sport activity
The battle against childhood obesity is at its height in the summer months. Studies show that kids gain weight more than twice as fast during the summer as they do during the regular school year. Without the benefit of scheduled meals, snacks and recess provided during the school day, kids can quickly fall into a "summer slump" of unhealthy behaviors like continuous snacking and spending more time in front of the screen.
The program was sponsored by the Network for a Healthy California-Children's Power Play! Campaign in partnership with Isla Vista Youth Projects and the City of Santa Barbara Parks and Recreation Department.
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