From Silicon Valley to SOMA, the Bay Area is filled with startups. These little engines of change are positively brimming with energy, just looking for the spark they need to take off and transform our community.
And no startup has more potential than Bay Area kids.
But, over the last several years, childhood obesity has threatened the potential of our little startups. According to a joint survey done by the Children & Nature Network and the IUCN's Commission on Education & Communication, youth participation in outdoor recreation has declined since 2006 in all age groups for boys and girls. Participation in outdoor recreation was highest among 6- to 12-year-olds at only 64%, while 13-17 year old declined to 61% and 19-24 year olds declined even further to 54%.
The existing disconnect from nature and being active outdoors has serious long-term implications for the health and well-being of children.
For the first time in history children may not outlive their parents’ lifespan due to obesity.
With a direct association to obesity and other chronic diseases, physical activity and nutritious eating are central components to addressing these issues.
Every day, our programs at the Peninsula Family YMCA in San Mateo and YMCA Camp Jones Gulch in La Honda, encourage youth participants to lead their own families and communities in healthy living with daily physical activity, healthy snacks, and well-portioned meals.
At the Y, we focus on the whole child, as the social and mental well-being is just as important as the physical aspect. In over 50 schools in San Mateo county, the Youth Service Bureau, a program of the Y, provides a continuum of services to help families address the challenges of growing up, by
specializing in counseling for youth and families; prevention programs for at-risk youth; safe school environments, and parent support. Youth Service Bureau is also a therapeutic partner of the San Mateo County Departments of Behavioral Health and Recovery Services, Human Services, and Juvenile Probation; local police departments; and school districts.
Your donation, designated to the programs in LaHonda, San Mateo and San Joaquin,will help the Y provide nutrition, activity, education and prevention programs in schools and at YMCA after-school, day and resident camps that model healthy living with physical activity, healthy snacks and nutrition education.
With your help, we can fire up our most precious startups, our kids, curb the youth obesity epidemic, prevent childhood trauma and get these kids back to nature, imagination and fun!