University of Michigan Gateway Ford School


« Return to Public Sector Excellence awards listing 

CLOSUP Public Sector Excellence Database

Kids Health & Fitness Expo

International City/County Management Association - 2007 - Program Excellence Award: Community Health and Safety (50,000 and Greater)

Summary

In 2006, the city council of Roseville, California, made creating a healthier community one of its top three goals. Among the many resultant community initiatives and partnerships is the annual Kids Health & Fitness Expo, a fun and active one-day event that provides kids and parents with the resources they need to make healthier lifestyle choices. This free event is a true public-private partnership between the city of Roseville and many community businesses and organizations.

Description

Childhood obesity is an epidemic that has more than doubled among school-aged children in the past several decades. Every day, parents struggle to make good decisions about diet, fitness, and healthy lifestyle choices for their kids. But many influences come from outside the home, including schools, child care, parks and recreation programs, and popular culture. Thus, cities, schools, and all community organizations need to come together to provide families with the resources they need to make the best choices possible for their children.

In 2006, the city council of Roseville, California, made creating a healthier community one of its top three goals. Among the many resultant community initiatives and partnerships is the annual Kids Health & Fitness Expo, a fun and active one-day event that provides kids and parents with the resources they need to make healthier lifestyle choices. This free event is a true public-private partnership between the city of Roseville and many community businesses and organizations.

At the second annual event, in September 2006, attendees strolled through “Nutrition Alley,” where they could talk one-on-one with nutritionists about making better choices. Each food group was featured with examples of “sometimes” and “always” options. In the “Nutrition Hut,” kids had the opportunity to create healthy snacks that can easily be made at home and on their own, such as yogurt and fruit parfaits and turkey-veggie wraps. Parents and kids also learned how to read food labels and got their own personalized food pyramid plan based on the USDA’s food pyramid system. Meanwhile, visitors to the Kids Activity Zone got their heart rate going while enjoying bounce houses, wall climbing, water play structures, games, sports, and group fitness activities like hula-hoop and hip-hop dance.

Kaiser Permanente sponsored and helped plan the expo, providing the event committee with much-needed resources, expertise, and staff. Various community organizations and businesses joined in the event as well. California State Parks educated attendees about local area walking and bike trails; the American Heart Association distributed information on preventing obesity and heart disease; private fitness clubs provided information on membership; REI promoted its hiking safety program; and local restaurants showcased healthy options from their menus.

The total event budget was $28,000, not including the value of goods and services provided at no cost through in-kind sponsorships. More than $16,000 was raised from community grants and the business community through sponsorships to offset the cost of the event.

More than 2,500 kids and parents attended the Kids Health & Fitness Expo. Every child received a free t-shirt and goody bag filled with healthy snacks and ideas for getting active. But the real success toward the goal of improving Roseville’s overall health and wellness was seen in the community response. Feedback from attendees has been resoundingly positive; one resident described the expo as a perfect mix of education and fun for both kids and adults, and one of the volunteers went home after the event, downloaded his own personal food pyramid, and has since lost 30 pounds just by eating more fruits and vegetables and by following proper portion sizes.

The event was honored by the California Parks and Recreation Society in March 2006 as the best example of a community health and wellness program in the state of California, and it also was featured in the National Recreation & Park Association’s “Step up to Health” publication on best practices in healthy lifestyles and livable community efforts.

This event has proven to be a successful event for the city of Roseville, creating a venue where residents can come together over an important issue. Because this success has aroused the interest of surrounding communities, Roseville has been reaching out to its neighbors and looking for ways to partner in this and other similar events and programs. In the future, the event committee also will seek to increase partnerships with the business community to provide new and innovative features for the expo, and also to increase the amount of monetary and in-kind donations and offset the investment by the city of Roseville.

info info
Tags: Education and Training, Health and Social Services, Youth Services





       closup@umich.edu  | 
735 South State Street, Ann Arbor, MI. 48109-3091  | 
ph: 734-647-4091  | 
© 2014 Regents of the University of Michigan      
University of Michigan Gateway Ford School Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy