The Issue: High Childhood Obesity Rates in Humboldt Park
Obesity affects 17% off all children and adolescents in the United States. But in the city of Chicago, preteen and teen obesity rates exceed the national levels, particularly for children living in communities of color, according to a 2013 report by the Chicago Community Trust. Humboldt Park is among the 48 neighborhoods the report identified as “high-risk” due to obesity rates of 40%–53%.
The Campaign: Hosting After School Program for Girls
All donations to this Grassroots campaign will be used by Girls in the Game to host its after school sports and leadership program in Humboldt Park. The first $500 of donations will be matched by the Girls in the Game advisory board, enabling the organization to host 25 girls for a full 10-week season. For every additional $1,000 raised, Girls in the Game can host the program for 25 more elementary- and middle-school girls.
Girls in the Game’s after school programs, typically held at a school or park-district building, incorporate traditional and nontraditional sports along with a health and leadership component into each 90-minute session. For example, in one session, girls may play basketball, practice yoga, and talk about healthy relationships with Girls in the Game’s trained staff members, all while in the comfort of a safe, girls-only environment.
Girls in the Game
In 1995, a small group of women made an unsettling discovery: despite the passage of Title IX, the opportunities for young girls in Chicago to participate in athletics were still scarce. Recognizing that their own participation in sports as girls was a vital element of how they developed the confidence, strength, and strong voice needed to succeed as adults, these women founded Girls in the Game (originally named A Sporting Chance Foundation).
Since its inception, Girls in the Game has empowered girls in Chicago to make healthier choices as they develop confidence and leadership skills. As part of its after school programs, camps, and clinics, female elementary- and middle-school students participate in a wide mix of sports and fitness activities, from soccer and dance to yoga and lacrosse. In addition to sports and fitness, all of the programs incorporate health education geared specifically toward young girls, on topics such as body image, nutrition, and leadership development. Girls in the Game runs its programs at parks and schools throughout Chicagoland, thanks to collaborations with Chicago Public Schools and the Chicago Park District.
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