What We’ve Done
Grants Pass Rx: Motion and Rx: Motion 2012
The original Rx: Motion project ran through fall and winter of 2010 and 2011. In early September 2011, Pioneering Healthier Communities received a grant from the CDC and Y-USA, the national component of the YMCA, and offered a 2nd session of Rx: Motion, which was available to both children and adults. KidZone Community Foundation and the Grants Pass Family YMCA were the administrators for the program, which offered 6 months of physical activities through the YMCA, Club Northwest, the Boys & Girls Club and U Sports. Local medical professionals referred patients who were overweight or at-risk for diabetes. You can help us with Rx: Motion!
The foundation is currently seeking grant funding and partners in the medical community to continue the RxMotion program.
Who We Are – January 2014
On April 11, 2004, a guest editorial appeared in the Grants Pass Daily Courier, authored by Scott Draper, decrying the inactivity of young people locally and nationally. This article inspired a group of community members from varying backgrounds with a common concern for the health of our local children to form the KidZone Foundation, which began activities in January, 2006. We received official status as a 501 (c) (3) organization in February, 2007. In August, 2008, the name was changed to KidZone Community Foundation.
Our original mission was to challenge and support our community to positively impact children through physical activity and healthy lifestyles. In April, 2011 we altered our mission and mission statement:
The mission of KidZone Community Foundation is to promote physical activity for children and teens.
KidZone Community Foundation strives to offer and promote programs that increase the amount of movement that children do daily. The ultimate goal is to get children moving in ways that they enjoy; therefore developing lifelong habits of movement and exercise. We are striving to make our community the healthiest in the nation.
Community Education Program
Our first project was a series of educational forums. The board felt that we needed to educate ourselves to the nature, scope and solutions to the problems of childhood inactivity, obesity, diabetes and other related issues. We invited the general public to the presentations, and targeted the educational and medical communities as honored guests and participants. Through 2007 and 2008, four programs were presented. The first was devoted to children’s self image and self esteem. The second was co- presented by Dr. Jimmy Unger of Lane County Coalition for Healthy Active Youth and Dan Marks PhD MD from Oregon Health Science University. It was a joint venture with Three Rivers Community Hospital and Foundation and included formal sessions for medical professionals as well as the general public on the subject of childhood obesity and diabetes, and some of the strategies currently being used to combat the problem. The third session was devoted to the Be A Fit Kid Curriculum, which was developed (and presented) by Jennifer Slawta PhD from Southern Oregon University. Her program has been accepted for incorporation into the Grants Pass District 7 and the Brighton Academy curricula. The fourth session was presented by Beth Kirkpatrick from Polar Corporation, devoted to physical education programs based on heart rate monitoring. We feel that this educational series gave us a basic understanding of relevant issues and helped us to start development of unique and innovative ways to combat childhood obesity in our community without “reinventing the wheel”.
Step it Up
Timed to coincide with the 2008 National TV Turnoff Week, the Foundation’s Step it Up campaign offered local 4th through 8th graders free pedometers. Participants had their Basal Metabolic Index calculated, and kept track of their strides for one week. All who reported their results were included in a prize drawing at the end of the week. Several local health care organizations provided funding for the event. The grand prize was an official #23 jersey signed by LeBron James and donated by the Cleveland Cavaliers.
The foundation is provided grants to coaches, educators and other community activists who had projects or activities which would benefit from using pedometers to promote youth fitness. In 2009 and 2010, grants of fifty pedometers each have been awarded to Hidden Valley High School, North Middle School, Highland Elementary School, Grants Pass High School, Rogue River Elementary School and Indian Hills Elementary School in Aloha.
The Foundation hosts a website to help coordinate activities of the many local organizations and individuals which benefit children’s physical activity and healthy lifestyle. We encourage of all organizations with similar goals to work together to lessen the chance of overlapping competing activities and increase the health of our community. Our site offers links to local and national organizations active in promoting physical activity for young people. The website (www.kzcf.org) became operational in January, 2009. It is, and always will be a “work in progress”.
Mini Cardio Outdoor Fitness Parks
We are currently working to restore an outdoor fitness mini-park with 9 stations at Highland Elementary School. This project was brought to our attention by Linda Hugle, former principal of North Valley High School. We were a partner in her successful grant application which culminated in NVHS dedicating the park on their campus in fall 2009. The equipment was removed in 2011 and has been in storage with the City of Grants Pass. It is to be re-established at Highland Elementary in early 2014. KidZone Community Foundation’s proposal to create similar, age appropriate mini cardio fitness parks has been accepted as part of the Grants Pass Parks and Recreation Master Plan, which was approved by the City Council in February, 2010.
Grants Pass Rx: Motion
Rx: Motion provided 71 obesity at-risk youngsters age 6-12 scholarships to participate in a choice of activities provided by the Boys and Girls Club, Club Northwest, the Grants Pass Family YMCA and U Sports. The program began in September 2010 and the activities ran through March of 2011. The program was funded by grants from Asante Community Connections, Mid Rogue Health Plans and Pacific Source Healthy Communities. Health data was collected before and after 3 months of physical activity. Swimming was the only activity which was strongly correlated with improved BMI.
Philosophy of our energies
It is the intention of the KidZone Community Foundation to develop programs that are easily duplicated and implemented at a reasonable cost. We know the long-term benefits of creating a healthier young population cannot truly be measured, but it is our contention that the improved health of our youth can only lead to the improved overall health of our community. We are currently seeking funding to continue and initiate programs consistent with our mission statement.