Our Healthy Lifestyle initiatives develop young people's capacity to engage in positive behaviors that nurture their own well-being, set personal goals, and live successfully as self-sufficient adults. Nearly 70% of Club kids report getting 60 minutes of activity 5 or more days a week.
Basketball is our most popular sport. We always have families asking about when basketball registration will open and when the season begins. Basketball season grew immensely because of our new elementary sports league program. We ended up with 250 teams with over 5,000 kids playing basketball and being active because of the partnership between the Boys & Girls Clubs, the Y, Metro Parks Tacoma and Tacoma Public Schools. It is great to have all teams in the league playing at the Boys & Girls Clubs on Saturdays from 9am-6pm. Many of our families would not be able to afford the high cost of traditional athletics programs. This partnership allows our Club members to participate!
Also part of Healthy Lifestyles is BGCA’s award winning Triple Play including:
Mind: Helps Club members develop a knowledge base to acquire healthy habits, such as making smart food choices, understanding appropriate portion sizes and creating fun and balanced meals. We are implementing cooking and nutrition classes with our USDA cooks to get kids eating healthier, knowing nutrition, and getting a life skill later in life.
Body: Encourages young people to be physically active through fun daily fitness, including games and activities to get them moving. Daily fitness challenges give youth of every age a chance to play longer and harder at a variety of games. When they get into gym time at the club the staff leads a physical activity before beginning to do the structured activity for the day to get the kids moving.
Soul: Provides social recreation programs and activities that strengthen interpersonal skills, foster good character and develop positive relationships and cooperation among young people. Club youth acquire a healthy self-concept and belief in their self-worth, and cope well with positive and adverse situations. Staff at the clubs run structured program at the clubs during gym or games room time. The games make the kids work together, use social skills, and help make the kids follow directions and be all around better characters.
Nutritional Food Program
We provide free meals/snacks, filling nutrition gaps low-income children suffer when school is out. We know that many youth go home to empty houses after school and do not have access to healthy snacks or meals. According to Child Trends Data Base, "Inadequate food intake in children is associated with a number of serious health, behavior, and cognitive deficits. Children who are food-insecure are in poorer health and are more likely to be developmentally ‘at-risk’ than non-food-insecure children, according to parental reports.” Further, “Ironically, child food-insecurity is also associated with a greater risk for being overweight.
The Nutritional Food Program is part of our Healthy Lifestyles core program area, which focuses on engaging youth in positive behaviors that nurture their own well-being in order to demonstrate how to lead a healthy lifestyle. The program is offered Monday through Friday at each of our Clubs after school and during the summer. By providing youth with daily nutritious snacks and meals, we ensure youth will not go hungry until the next day and that they are prepared to participate in other programs at our Clubs that help them learn and grow.