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Texas Healthy Choices Grant Recipients Make Impact on Kids

We always love when we can showcase a long time partner organization such as The Oliver Foundation, a Houston-based 501(c)(3) non-profit operating foundation dedicated to the prevention of childhood obesity. In fact, they were integral players in the creation and development of our OWG Shorts!

In this case, we are sharing how the Texas Recreation and Park Society (TRAPS) implemented nutrition and healthy lifestyle programming in Deer Park ISD and McAllen ISD park and recreation agencies via Healthy Choices grants from The Oliver Foundation. The program started in the after school programs but then transitioned into the summer day camps. Deer Park ISD shared that they have been quite impressed with how much the kids are eager to participate in WISERCISE on a daily basis and how creative they are with the different activities. They are also incorporating food tastings into their lessons, which is always a favorite! Congrats to the grant recipients and a huge shout out to the staff who is helping to create healthier kids!

Look how much the kids at in both locations are enjoying the program below:

Texas Healthy Choices Grant1 Texas Healthy Choices Grant 2 Texas Healthy Choices Grant 3 Texas Healthy Choices Grants 4 Texas Healthy Choices Grants 5 Texas Healthy Choices Grant 6Texas Healthy Choices Grants 7

Out-of-School Time Programs: Healthy and Creative Idea

It’s the middle of the summer and kids might just be getting a little restless. Certainly a little change of pace could help cure this little case of restless kids. How about trying out this creative and healthy idea that incorporates kids of all ages in your out-of-school time programs?

Last summer we piloted a contest idea with Gwinnett County Parks and Recreation (we love our partners in The OrganWise Guys’ home county). The contest sought out creative older students in summer camps who were willing to come up with some unique ways to convey The OrganWise Guys’ health messages of LOW-FAT, HIGH-FIBER, LOTS OF WATER and EXERCISE to younger children using a variety of multi-media formats. Some suggested examples included: songs/raps, short skits, and poems. We were impressed with their final products. Check out this montage of the fun submissions.

Because the pilot turned out to be so fun, we encourage you to explore similar contests or ideas in your out-of-school time programs! Contact us if you would like to see a template to use for contest rules and submissions and please share your multi-media experiences with us so we can see just how creative you all are!

out-of-school time programs

The winners from Bogan Park seemed to really enjoy participating in the contest!

Park and Recreation Month: Celebrating 30 Years


July 1st marks the start of Park and Recreation Month. The annual monthly celebration encourages people to get out and experience the benefits of parks and recreation – from health and wellness to nature and everything in between. This year is the 30th anniversary celebration of July as Park and Recreation Month. To celebrate, the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) is encouraging retro, 1980s-type activities at local parks and recreation facilities, while also promoting the enduring benefits of parks and recreation. We’ve been fortunate to work with the NRPA and a number of parks and recreation sites around the country for the last few years and we love that they are focusing on creating healthier children!

Here’s how you can join in the celebration and celebrate Park and Recreation Month:

  • Include mention of Park and Recreation Month in newsletters and other communications (blog, social media, emails) throughout the month. 
  • Spread the word through social media using: #JULYPRM30
  • Download and post the web graphics and/or logo to your websites, social media platforms or include in your communications to show your support.
  • Grab your eighties gear and slang and participate in the Throwback Thursday Instagram Video Challenge. This sounds like tons of fun … we can’t wait to see these!

You can find all of the information at www.nrpa.org/july

Make sure and download your OrganWise Guys retro-inspired coloring sheet to celebrate parks and recreation this month!


Study: Early Intervention is Key in Childhood Obesity Fight

WKKF TC2 Project Early Intervention

Despite rates of obesity continuing to increase among some low-income children ages 2-5, new results from the first of its kind study who that obesity measures significantly improved among children ages 2-5 who participate in Head Start Center-based nutrition and healthy living programming, as compared to children not in the program. Funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, this program “shows much promise to reduce obesity rates of young children throughout our nation, using Head Start Centers as primary settings for this type of intervention.” says Dr. Danielle Hollar the study lead investigator. For more information, read the press release.

Thanks to the W.K. Kellogg Foundation for making this project possible and for their ongoing support to help fight childhood obesity! Early intervention is definitely key!

Fourth of July Water Safety

Water Safety - Girl in Lifejacket

As the Fourth of July holiday approaches, families across the country are heading to cooler places to celebrate. Water destinations are great fun, but safety is a major concern as oftentimes there are no safety measures in place and no lifeguards to ensure they are enforced.

We came across this helpful article discussing how drowning doesn’t always look like drowning. This is a real eye-opener as most people envision it involving a lot of splashing, flailing arms, yelling, etc. In actuality, it may be hard to even realize that a person is struggling in the water. This real-life near-drowning video has been circulating the internet recently and just goes to show how quick it can happen, how difficult it can be to spot, and just how serious a lifeguard should take their job. We give a huge shout out to the lifeguard for taking her job seriously and being so alert!

One way to ensure kids are being watched vigilantly, is to share the responsibility with each of the guardians who are there to “watch” their kids as they swim. If swimming with a group of friends, pick an item such as a pool diving stick or even create a silly hat with a pair of eyes on it that the adult “on duty” has to wear. The idea is to make sure that someone is “on alert” at all times. When one is on duty they can’t be on cell phones and all attention must be on not only their own child(ren), but on all the kids in the swimming area. We think this is a great way to be smart this Fourth of July holiday.

With all that being said, make sure and enjoy your vacation, just be safe!

What are your plans for the Fourth of July?