ORLANDO, Fla., June 18, 2008 — More than 140 children and parents from the Walt Disney World Boys and Girls Club in Pine Hills recently completed an eight-week program to promote healthier living. With the help of some 45 Disney VoluntEARS, the “Go Healthy” experiential learning initiative focused on four aspects of healthy living, including physical activity, diet management, behavior modification and family lifestyle management. The goal of the program was to motivate youngsters, teens and parents to implement changes in their daily living.
Boys and Girls Club members engaged in a variety of projects including recreational activities with Cast Members from Disney’s Wide World of Sports, cooking classes with Walt Disney World chefs, a health fair and a family day. To encourage family participation, a weekly newsletter offered recommendations for family activities and recipes, among other items. Video segments from Disney Channel’s “Pass-the-Plate” series were also integrated into the weekly programming to show kids and teens the preparation and nutritional benefits of various food items.
Fifth grader Sharian took many of the suggestions to heart, and offered her own personal tips on healthier living: “Take the stairs, not the elevator. Laugh out loud, you’ll burn more calories. Drink more water. Walk, don’t drive, you’ll save a lot of gas too.”
As for third grader Dionna, “healthy living means being in shape, exercising, eating fruits and vegetables and of course drinking lots of water.”
The “Go Healthy” initiative was part of a broader program already offered by the Boys and Girls Club called “Healthy Habits” for the mind, body and soul. Disney VoluntEARS enhanced the existing program by adding new Disney-branded elements and incorporating developmental assets including family support and communication, positive peer influence and personal power.