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Columns

Park District Dish: Grant helps fund healthier options for kids

This year, Batavia Park District staff will use a PowerPlay! Grant to incorporate nutrition and health into summer programs.
This year, Batavia Park District staff will use a PowerPlay! Grant to incorporate nutrition and health into summer programs.

The Batavia Park District wants kids to get outside and play this summer! Local kids have a variety of options available for outdoor play, including Hall Quarry Beach, their neighborhood park, sports classes and especially summer camps. And this year, in addition to encouraging active play, district staff will be using a PowerPlay! Grant to incorporate nutrition and health into summer programs.

Last month, the district was notified it had received the $1,000 grant, which is administered by the Illinois Association of Park Districts. The program focuses on health, nutrition and fitness for children ages 5 to 13. Grant recipients must incorporate the core elements of the model program into their curriculum.

“The PowerPlay! Grant program is designed to provide positive beyond-school programs for youth ages 5 to 13,” according to IAPD. “Beyond-school programs keep youth safe and give them supervised and structured activities. The Illinois Association of Park Districts created the grant program to provide financial assistance to communities in Illinois for the development of beyond-school programs. These programs include educational components that focus on health, nutrition and fitness issues.”

The district will be using the grant funding to educate its Klub Fun and Kids Club before-and-after-school program participants on healthy lifestyles and how to make daily all-around safe and healthy choices, as well as encourage regular involvement in physical activity. Staff will also provide more nutritious snack options to participants in these programs.

Becca Atkins, the recreation supervisor who applied for the PowerPlay! Grant, oversees Klub Fun and Kids Club. She sees a great value in receiving the grant.

“The Kids Club program is important because it offers students a safe place to go before and after school to study, play and interact with other students,” Atkins said. “The grant provides us the opportunity to educate and encourage our participants to make healthier choices.”

Funding and materials for the program are provided through revenue the IAPD receives from the park district youth license plate program and through Friends of Illinois Parks. For more information, please visit www.ilparks.org.

For more information about Kids Club or Klub Fun, please visit www.bataviaparks.org or contact the Batavia Park District at 630-879-5235.

Katie Drum is the director of marketing and public relations for the Batavia Park District. The “Park District Dish” column runs the second Thursday of each month in the Kane County Chronicle. Contact Drum at editorial@kcchronicle.com.

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