Champions of Change: Let's Move

Uploaded by whitehouse on 22.03.2012

Jon Carson: Good afternoon, everyone.
Welcome to the White House.
My name is Jon Carson.
I'm the Director of the Office of Public Engagement.
I want to welcome everyone who is following online today.
Everyone here in the audience.
And of course, let's start with a big round of applause for our
Champions of Change.
I'm here today first to tell you a little bit about the Champions
of Change program.
And second I have an "ask" for each and every one of you: Those
following online; here in the audience;
and of course our Champions.
We started Champions of Change because this President and this
Administration understands two things: First,
that we have no monopoly on good ideas.
That while we are here in Washington,
we have folks like our "Let's Move!
Champions of Change" all across the country who are making a
difference in their community every single day.
And so we wanted to use our spotlight power to lift them
up because while we are here debating the latest budget,
debating the latest issue, there are millions of people like our
Champions of Change here today who are making a difference
happen everywhere.
And so my simple ask for all of you is to tell your story,
tell your story of being here today.
Tell the story of the difference that you're making.
Tell the story of how you've taken the ideas of "Let's Move!"
made them real in your community, in your network,
in your family.
Whether you're online, whether you're here in the audience or,
of course, our Champions of Change because what we've often
seen is that sometimes our champions who are making such
a difference in their community are sometimes the most humble
people who need that encouragement to make sure
you are telling your story both to share information.
You've seen what "Let's Move!" can do to transform a community,
to transform a school; we want you to share that information.
But also we want you to inspire others to action.
Because when they hear your story,
when they hear what you've done, they will say that's someone I
know, that's someone in my community,
I could make change as well.
So we wanted to make sure, of all the champions of change
events we've done, we've had few that have been around such an
important issue to the Obama family.
And knowing that we were going to ask you to tell your story,
we wanted to make today a little extra special.
So here to kick things off, none other than the person who made
Champions "Let's Move! "happen, First Lady Michelle Obama.
First Lady Michelle Obama: Thank you all so much.
Rest yourselves. You can move later.
I am just delighted to be here.
I'm not going to talk long.
I want to give you all the space to tell your stories and talk to
one another, but I just wanted to thank everyone.
Thank you all for joining us.
I want to thank and congratulate our Champions of Change,
and particularly Shellie who has been just amazing
with "Let's Move!"
She and I, we have played soccer and done Olympic events,
we've done a little bit of everything together and she's
just been amazing.
I also want to thank Jon Carson for all of his work as well.
But "Let's Move!"
is critical.
It is one of my signature projects, as you all know.
And focusing on physical activity is a key part of the
focus of our effort this year.
And I tell this story all the time about how life has changed
in so many communities.
I remember when I was growing up, you know,
our days were spent outside.
You had to be outside.
Your mother didn't let you come inside.
And we spent our days figuring out how to make life exciting
which required us to move.
Every little kid knew how to jump double dutch.
We were playing jax.
We loved to play this game called Piggy where you would
hit 16-inch softball, if you caught it then you got
to be the batter.
We would play that for hours.
We played a game called Chase, which was simple: Boys chased
the girls --
-- then the girls chased the boys.
And we would be out for hours.
And for us, you know, that was play.
That was fun.
But things have changed for so many kids in communities around
our nation.
You know, more of our kids are in front of a screen,
7.5 hours a day is the average screen time for
kids in our lives.
Recess is gone from schools.
Gym class is eliminated.
Sports are often the first things that are
cut out of programs.
So for many of our kids, this whole notion of moving and
playing, we've just made it more difficult and as a result we've
made it more difficult for our families.
You know, it's very tough to tell a parent to do the best for
their kids when they don't feel like it's safe for them to go
outside and play.
You know, many of our neighborhoods don't allow
for kids to just play freely and ride their bikes.
It's not safe.
So part of what we want to do with "Let's Move!"
is to take the work that so many of you all are doing as coaches
and teachers and physical activity specialists,
all of you are doing some wonderful things,
we want you to share those ideas.
We want you to tell your stories.
We want to bring back movement and play into
our children's lives.
And this is not just about how our kids look.
This is about how they feel.
And it's about how they feel academically.
Because we all know, especially the teachers in the room,
that if we want our kids to focus on reading and math,
they need to be able to burn off that steam.
They've got to come to school with a good meal
in their stomachs.
And we've worked on that.
And when it comes to school lunches,
we've talked about nutrition, but we also know that kids have
to get their bodies moving to connect that to their brains.
And for all of us, I you know that I am an avid proponent of
making sure that my girls are involved in some kind of sport.
And particularly for our young women, you know,
we want them to know what it feels like to sweat, to compete,
to win, to lose.
But it's not always that easy.
And "Let's Move!" we're trying to, you know,
lift up the wonderful programs and efforts that are going on
all around the country.
And you guys play a critical role in helping us do that.
And we so appreciate the work that you do in communities all
across this country.
There isn't a day that goes by that I don't get some letter
that moves me to tears from, you know, a mother,
I got one recently, the mother of an amputee who is finding
ways to set new and exciting goals for her daughter to make
sure that she's up and moving and how she's become a role
model in her community and she's planning to run a marathon.
Or a young kid who talks, shows me the picture,
the before and after pictures of himself and how he was an
overweight kid and now with changing his diet and taking
up a sport he's changed his life and he's become a role model for
his entire school.
So change and wonderful stories like these are going on in
communities all across the country.
We are making progress and we are doing it because of
the work that you do.
"Let's Move!" really is intended to shine a spotlight on the good
work that's already going on so that people know that they're
not alone out there trying to make these changes.
And hopefully, because you've got the support of the White
House and so many important people,
that we make your work just a little bit easy, easier.
So I want you all to enjoy this day, this time here.
You know, don't be bashful.
We want to hear your stories.
We want you all to network with one another which is key because
part of being successful is knowing that you're not alone
even if it means that you're reaching across a state or a
county line to connect with people who think like you in
other parts of the country.
So use this opportunity to exchange cards and phone numbers
and e-mails and whatever else you do to stay connected.
And I hope to see you as we travel around the country
because I will continue to be out there hopefully running and
playing and jumping a little double dutch and making a fool
out of myself with kids so that we can show them that we as our
kids first and best role models aren't afraid to move ourselves.
They kind of do what we do oftentimes.
So congratulations.
Thank you for taking the time.
Our Champions, thank you all for the work that you do.
Keep it up.
We want you to be really tired by the time you get
through with us.
And you all, thank you again, enjoy your time here!
Oh, I have one last job to turn it over to Sam Kass.
Sam Kass: How is everybody?
How is everybody doing?
That was pretty good, right?
What else is there to say?
She is pretty amazing.
So just to start off, first of all,
thank you all for being here.
Thank you and congratulations.
Your work has been inspiring to all of us and so we look forward
to hearing all about some of the great activity and work you're
doing across the country.
And thank you for the work that has been going on across the
country for decades.
It has been a platform that we have been working off of to help
grow and expand and take to whole new heights,
and it's only by the work that's been happening in communities
across the country that we have been able to do what we have
been doing here since day one.
And the First Lady, as you can tell,
is committed to this from her heart and as a mom first.
So a little bit of context for how we're approaching these
issues just to get a sense of the framework that all this
activity is happening in and then I'm going to turn it over
and we're going to hear from the folks who have been doing the
work all over the country.
The First Lady, as you can see, she really has a vision for this
nation and it's a vision that calls upon all of us to step
back, take a look at what we're doing as business leaders,
as parents, as coaches, as teachers, as community members,
and ask ourselves what can we do to help support the health and
well-being of our nation's kids.
And when we step back and take a look at what's happening and
what's at stake, the numbers are pretty devastating.
As you all know, one-in-three kids in this country is
overweight or obese.
And the CDC predicts that one-in-three of our nation's
young people will have diabetes in their lifetime, one in three.
And in minority communities it is closer to one in two.
And so when you step back and think about the implications
that that has on our nation, on our economy,
on our health care system across the board,
it is pretty significant.
We're already spending $150 billion a year treating
obesity-related conditions.
And what it takes, the toll that it takes on our education system
as well.
Everybody here knows, and if you ask any teacher,
kids can't learn, their learning goes down when they're not
getting the activity that they need.
But when it has probably hit me the hardest is when we sit
across from retired four-star generals who tell us that
childhood obesity and obesity in general may be our nation's
greatest national security threat.
It is the number 1 reason for disqualification for
military service.
Twenty-seven percent of 17 through 23-year-olds cannot
serve in our military because of obesity.
And the Army has had to create a boot camp for boot camp for
a whole other population to make it into the Army,
and we've had to lower the standards of who can enter.
So when you think about across the board what we're grappling
with here, the stakes are really, really high.
So that's why it's in the context of this that the work
that you're doing and the efforts of the First Lady
are so important.
We've really tried to look at this issue in a comprehensive
fashion trying to make sure we are touching every lever we can
to have the impact on this issue in as many innovative
and creative ways as possible.
But we know that however well our kids are eating,
if they're not getting the activity they need,
we're simply not going to be successful.
When kids are getting, in lower school 2% of kids,
4% in middle schools -- 8% in middle schools and 4% in high
schools are getting daily PE classes,
when only half of our nation's kids live in range of a park,
we know our kids aren't going to be growing up living the healthy
lives that they deserve.
So the stakes are high.
The stakes are high for these conversations.
The stakes are high for the work that you're doing.
And we are just so thrilled and inspired and optimistic that as
we continue to try to unite around these issues and leverage
our collective efforts that we're really going
to turn this around.
I don't think anybody could have imagined just in two years how
quickly these issues would start to move and the progress
we've made.
So were thrilled, we think this is yet another starting point to
take this work to a higher level.
And we can't wait to hear all that comes out.
We're listening here.
So for us we can't wait to hear ideas from everybody.
Have a real discussion so that we know what's working
and what's not.
How we can be better equipped and strategically target our
efforts to really take this to a place that's going to really
support the health and well-being of our kids.
So with that, I'm going to turn it over,
because these are the most interesting people that I
need to hear from today.
So if David Hayes would you please come up and
introduce our guests.
The Deputy Secretary of the Interior who has been a champion
for "Let's Move Outside!" as well as a number of programs
to get kids active in our communities, so please welcome
Mr. David Hayes.
David Hayes: Thank you, Sam. Thank you, Sam.
It's great to be here.
So if any of you are wondering where you might move?
Try our national parks.
Try our public lands.
Try our national refuges, right?
This summer get out there and start on The Mall,
America's backyard.
So I've got an easy job here.
I'm just going to introduce our folks here today.
We're going to, I think -- well, we'll see,
maybe hold the applause until we get to the end.
I just want to introduce who you are and where you're from and
then we're going to turn it over to Shellie and get the show on
the road.
So first we've got Andre Ashley from Portlands Park
and Recreation, Portland, Oregon.
Why don't you raise your hand when I call your name.
Hector Avila from Houston Parks and Recreation "Soccer for
Success" program.
Brian "Bear" Bosto from the Brookston Community Center "Lax
for Life" program from Fond du Lac Reservation in Minnesota.
Sarah Bucher from the YMCA and JCC of Greater Toledo.
Toledo, Ohio.
Did I butcher your name, Sarah?
Sarah Bucher: Bucher.
David Hayes: Bucher. Sarah Bucher.
I did Bucher -- Butcher Sarah Bucher's name.
Robert Castaneda from "Beyond the Ball," Chicago, Illinois.
Robert, welcome.
Cindy Coughlin from the Alice B. Beal Elementary School,
"Fuel Up to Play 60s," Springfield, Massachusetts.
Cameron Hajialiakbar from "Team Up for Youth" coaching corps for
UCLA, Los Angeles, California.
Was I close?
Cameron Hajialiakbar: No.
David Hayes: All right. Thank you!
First name Cameron!
Richard Kozoll "Step into Cuba Alliance" Cuba, New Mexico.
Richard Kozoll: Kozoll
David Hayes: Kozoll. Okay. Richard, but you are from Cuba, New Mexico?
Richard Kozoll: I am indeed.
David Hayes: This one I'm going to get right.
Kenny Owens from DC Scores, Washington, D.C.
Melissa Stockwell, "Dare to Try," Chicago, Illinois.
Shawanda Weems from the New York Public Schools,
the "Mighty Milers program," New York, New York.
Dr. Carolyn Ward, Ph.D., from the "Kids in Parks" program in
Ashville, North Carolina.
And finally, Chris West who is a PE teacher from Bauder
Elementary School in Fort Collins, Colorado.
A big welcome to our Champions!
So let me turn it over now to Shellie Phofl who is the
Executive Director of the President's Council on Fitness,
Sports and Nutrition.
Shellie? Thank you.
Shellie Phofl: Thanks so much. Welcome, everyone!
See, it was worth the wait, right?
That was the patience part of the day.
Well, again, congratulations.
And I think you guys can have your seats and then you'll be
up in the next panel.
So we'll let these guys sit down for a few minutes.
And we're going to really get some good information from the
folks that are up here.
So again, congratulations to all of our Champions of Change.
I don't know if anyone mentioned this but there were over 600
nominations for these awards.
And there wasn't but a pretty small window to nominate,
if you recall.
So that tells us that there is a lot of good things going on
across our country.
And a lot to be hopeful for.
And as Sam said, look at what we've done certainly in the
last two years.
But for many of you, for many of us,
we've been working on this for decades.
And this is a culmination of much of the work that
you've been doing.
So, again, congratulations.
Let's get started with a few questions.
I'll throw a few questions out and if we have time we'll take
any questions from the crowd.
But we are on a timeframe so we can get our other award winners
up here as well.
I want to start with Cindy.
Cindy Coughlin: Hi.
Shellie Phofl: Cindy from Springfield Mass; correct?
Cindy Coughlin: Right.
Shellie Phofl: So Cindy represents, she is a PE and health teacher from Alice
Beal Elementary School which is also a "Fuel Up to Play 60" school.
And so she'll tell us, hopefully she'll tell us a little bit more
about "Fuel Up to Play 60" for those of you not yet
in the know.
So, Cindy, we know that quality physical education,
and I emphasize the word quality, physical
education as well as quality instructors are so critical to
ensuring children that they have the important skills that they
need to take into adulthood and that they're getting that 60
minutes of physical activity a day that the physical activity
guidelines say that we should.
Tell us about your approach at your school and the impact of PE
and programs like "Fuel Up to Play 60" have to your kids,
your school, your community.
Cindy Coughlin: Well, our school is a small urban school
which means that the children don't get out to play that much.
And so we have to be the ones to provide that.
And what we found was with "Fuel Up to Play 60" it was really a
spark that brought our school to a different level.
We -- our children weren't getting the exercise that
they should be.
They stayed in a lot.
But it's not their fault that they did that.
So "Fuel Up to Play 60" came along and I've been in the
program, our school has been in the program for two years now.
And the first year, I wasn't really sure if this would be
a good match for us but I found out that the Fuel Up Program is
sponsored by the National Dairy Council and the NFL.
What a great -- I wish I came up with that idea --
what a great partnership.
So to get the NFL involved which sparked a lot of children's
minds saying, wow, I love football and this sounds great,
came to us just every day now the children look forward
to our programs.
So some of our programs that we do at our school
are all fuel-up related.
So if we're eating healthy in one thing we're actually getting
60 minutes of exercise.
And we have the children take that message home with them
because we can only do so much at school and they need to be
able to go out and play.
So finding out how the program works comes back to us from the
students who say, Mrs. Coughlin, I went out and and played for
60 minutes playing baseball, I played soccer, I rode my bike,
we went to the park.
So that means that they are actually coming back and
realizing that the program does work.
With the Fuel Up Program last year I wrote a grant
and received $2,800.
Part of that went to eating healthy and the other part went
to equipment for the program.
Physical exercise equipment.
This year I wrote a grant, I received a grant from the Fuel
Up Program for $4,000.
Half of that went to eating healthy.
The other half this year we'll be the first school in
Springfield to have a bike unit.
I am purchasing a shed and asking for gently used bicycles
to teach our fourth and fifth graders to learn how to ride.
Since we're a neighborhood school our school is close
enough for the students to ride their bikes to school so we're
working on that and walking.
But many don't.
So by putting this all together I think that that would help to
spark the student to say, okay, I learned to ride my bike safely
at school, I can ride to school, and the parents will feel safe
having their students ride to school.
Shellie Phofl: Great, thank you.
So one of the things that resonants with me is that
it's not just about physical activity;
it's not just about nutrition.
It has to be about both and how we are combining these in
whatever setting that we're in, whether we're in a park or in a
school or a community organization, it doesn't matter.
We have got to address both.
So thank you, very much.
I'm going to stay over here with Dr. Kozoll -- did I say
it right, Kozoll?
Dr. Richard Kozoll: Yes.
Shellie Phofl: All right. Who is from Cuba, New Mexico.
And, Dr. Kozoll's program promotes outdoor recreation and
physical activity throughout New Mexico, actually,
and particularly through infrastructure development.
And we hear this terminology a lot,
infrastructure and built environment and how are we
enhancing our built environment to make it more accessible and
make it the easy choice to be active.
And so tell us a little bit about that and how your work to
garner more sidewalks and paths and trails and how that has
enhanced your communities.
Dr. Richard Kozoll: Certainly. Well, my situation is considerably different
than Cindy's.
We live in a very small, rural, isolated community in northwest
New Mexico, and we have a great deal of trouble with
both infrastructure and resource availability.
But one thing we do have, which is a significant asset,
and that is our public lands.
City, county, national forest, BLM lands surround us and are
easily accessible and that has been complemented by a donation
of open-space land.
So our program has focused on connecting our community to
those public lands.
And it's our belief that it's difficult for children and youth
to be active unless the community is active.
So we wanted to create a community culture of activity.
So we thought the most logical approach was to develop
sidewalks, paths and walkways to connect us to each other and to
connect us to our public lands which are so close and so
strikingly beautiful to spend time in.
And that basically has required partners.
We've recruited a broad partnership that includes
three land management agencies; an academic partnership with the
University of New Mexico Prevention Research Center;
a partnership with county, city, and regional transportation
planning agency; a partnership with our State Department of
Transportation; and a little bit of help from the Robert
Wood Johnson Foundation.
But we've been able to put a lot of external partners
in close communication with a lot of local volunteers,
a lot in local youth that also volunteer on our projects.
And hopefully we're creating an environment of physical activity
that we have been losing for several generations.
Ancestors in our area tended to live very actively several
generations ago and we're trying to reconnect our youth to the
life that their grandparents and great grandparents once had.
Shellie Phofl: Great. Thank you so much, Dr. Kozoll.
Again, we are hearing from both of these partnerships and many
of you all out here represent those partners that are working
on the national, state and local level,
so I think we're going to hear that a lot today.
I'm going to jump over here Kenny next.
Kenny is a Native Washingtonian, and remember he is with DC
Scores and so it must be especially fulfilling to work
with a sport that you love and work with kids all over the
district here.
As a competitive soccer player himself throughout his career,
childhood, college and now Executive Director
of DC Scores --
Kenny Owens: Program Director.
Shelie Phofl: Pardon me?
Kenny Owens: Program Director.
Shellie Phofl: Program Director. That's the most important.
That's right.
Kenny Owens: I am not trying to go there.
Shellie Phofl: The guy that gets stuff done, in other words.
So you're the guy we want to talk so just so we're clear.
Kenny Owens: Exactly.
Shellie Phofl: So tell us a little bit about how your program impacts those
intercity kids, those underserved kids who are
looking for an out let, looking to engage in a program where
someone cares where they show up and really what
it means for them and their lives.
Kenny Owens: Right, so, DC Scores is an after school program and we're
in 27 schools throughout the city.
We're not only a soccer program but we're also a creative
writing, service learning, and poetry program.
So we try to work on the entire child, not just, you know,
the athletic piece of him.
But my job as a Program Director of DC Scores I actually hire
coaches and one of the reasons I feel our program works so well
is we hire teachers within the school to implement our program.
So what we really look towards is having these teachers create
a structure outside of the school day.
Because what happens a lot, you know,
when you're in the school day and you're in the classroom
there is different rules that apply,
so what we try to do is get teachers to build different
relationships outside of the classroom and
on the soccer field.
And it's been successful for us.
We, like I said earlier, are in 27 schools and we're going to
expand thanks to the US SIF Grant and the U.S. Soccer
Foundation to hopefully 19 more schools leading
in this coming fall.
So same thing with the partnerships,
we're excited about that partnership and we look
forward to doing that in the fall.
Shellie Phofl: Great. Thank you. Thank you.
Next I'm going to say over on this side, Dr. Ward.
Dr. Ward is the CEO of the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation in
North Carolina in Asheville, beautiful country, right?
She's the only philanthropic funding partner of a physical
activity program represented here on this panel.
Give us some advice on how organizations that are motivated
to develop, especially outdoor fitness programs,
can target funding sources that are more likely to
support their efforts.
Dr. Carolyn Ward: And I'm going to get innundated as soon as
this is over.
Thank you for that, Shellie.
We're in a very unique position at the Blue Ridge Parkway
Foundation because we work both sides of the coin.
We give money to our partner, the Blue Ridge Parkway which
is the most visited unit of the national park service and they
come to us and want projects and programs funded.
So we provide funding for them.
But we also seek funding from other organizations,
individuals, donors, so we work on both sides.
And no matter which side of that equation that we're on,
the key for that in seeking funding is looking for a match
of mission.
What it is that we're both trying to accomplish.
Chasing money and changing what you're doing to match the money
source usually is not very successful.
And so whether it's the money like we've gotten for our "Kids
in Parks" program that was funded through the Blue Cross
and Blue Shield of North Carolina Foundation whose
mission is for the health of North Carolineans,
our purpose at the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation was thinking
about the health of our parks because we have a rate of about
7 to 12% of our visitors bring children and at the most visited
unit of the park service if only 7 to 12% are bringing kids where
is that future generation of stewards going to come from?
And so we care about the health of the park.
And we know that the health of our kids and the health of the
people in our community are linked to the health
of our park.
So for us it was a perfect match to find the funding for that
program and we do the same thing when we look for other funding
sources like the National Park Foundation and others that have
been very helpful for us in this program.
Shellie Phofl: Great. Great.
So matching the mission with your program.
Dr. Carolyn Ward: Absolutely.
Shellie Phofl: And looking for those funders that are working in that area.
Great. Thank you. I'm going to stay over here again,
we're going to talk to Shawanda Weems from New York City. Yes?
Shawanda Weems: Yes.
Shellie Phofl: Shawanda is a public school teacher for more than a decade
-- bless you --
Shawanda Weems: Thank you.
Shellie Phofl: Obviously you have experienced firsthand the difficulties
children have with concentration and behavior
and that all affects their academic performance.
How would you describe the social and academic impact
of physical education as well as these out-of-school-time
programs some of which we have talked about here,
and your "Mighty Milers" which is why you are being awarded
here, how would you describe the importance of those programs on
kids, especially those kids, you know, let's say 5 to 16,
so elementary, middle school, high school.
Shawanda Weems: Okay. I work in a K to 8 in New York City,
very rewarding and at times challenging work.
But we had the opportunity to do what's coming to a collaboration
with New York Road Runners which is the umbrella organization for
the New York City Marathon.
The premier place to run.
And that being said they saw the importance of introducing young
people to the sport of running so that it's a groundwork and a
grassroots movement so that the runners start younger.
And with us we were able to, - work in The Bronx, New York,
and the students ,pretty much as an educator we look for testing
first and the priorities of the mission of academic excellence
which is very much important,
but as an educator I also came into contact with seeing the
students that weren't eating at home and weren't being nourished
with their mind, their body plays on their academic work and
the lack of academic success.
So the New York Roadrunners ,in partnership with my school in
The Bronx, PS 15, we were able to pretty much introduce the
sport of running to students from ages 5 all the way to high
school and past.
So I run two actual programs: one is the young runners,
and that engages middle school students ages 12 to 14 in the
sport of cross country running.
And that is the out-of-school component of after school
excellence so they engage in running three times a week,
60 minutes per session, and then that transforms to "Mighty
Milers" which is the in-school component of our program which
across New York City has 125,000 students.
One program in every state of the United States that exposes
young people from ages 5 in their youth to out time play,
what Mrs. Obama alluded to the idea of play,
the idea of movement, the idea of running.
And overall what we've seen in our school is that the students
that are engaged in these programs on a consistent basis
through "Mighty Milers" and "Young Runners,"
their scores have gone up, their love for the
sport has grown.
Their idea of the connection between academic excellence
and personal fitness and success is definitely on the forefront.
So we have seen that growth in our school and within our
students with the support of the New York Road Runners.
Shellie Phofl: Wonderful, wonderful.
And I think for many of us in this room we are always looking
to find that connection between the physical activity,
good nutrition and academic success and
all that that entails.
So to know that it can be done, that those things can be
measured, and we can show that success is really important to
all of our work here.
Shawanda Weems: Absolutely.
Shellie Phofl: So thank you. Thank you.
All right.
And finally, Chris, down on the corner, our PE teacher.
So Chris is from Colorado, Fort Collins, right?
Chris West: Yes.
Shellie Phofl: Fort Collins, Colorado.
And many of us know Colorado is usually the top,
they are the healthiest state although they are trending in
the not-so-good direction, so don't get too cocky down there.
So, you know, we got to keep you going out there.
So but you guys have been a leader overall in terms of the
health of all of your citizens.
From your school standpoint and the great work that you've done
as a PE teacher, tell us how you have kind of rallied students
and parents and administrators, all of those groups and more
around innovative methods to integrate,
to integrate science and literacy, et cetera,
with your PE classes and vice-versa.
Chris West: Sure.
First I'd like to thank, it all comes from partnerships,
and this all started with two important women in my life which
is my mom to empower me to speak my mind and it got me in a lot
of trouble through my life but it helps me to stand up for what
I believe in.
And then my wife for teaching me how to be very compassionate and
caring to human beings because she just shows me.
She doesn't tell me, ;she shows me.
And that's what's really been able to make me to have
partnerships and be here today.
And actually to talk about the lean state controversy.
My wife is an epidemiologist and when you look at statistics,
you have got to look deeper when you hit the buzz words,
because the childhood obesity rate,
where actually if you look from 2003 to 2007,
if you look at the rate of increase,
we're actually the second fastest to Nevada.
So there actually is a huge problem.
People just ,look, oh, we're Coloradoan, we have the life.
We're lean, we're fit, we're active.
We are active.
And it is our environment that help us to be active,
but not necessarily in the classroom.
So that's one of the things I want to talk about today
is actually how do you change the classroom.
Well, I'm not really a classroom teacher; I'm a PE teacher.
I'm a gym teacher.
So and that's, I deal with that battle every day and I'm okay
with that but I'd like to change the mindset of what
we can do in PE.
So first I had to change my students.
That was the biggest struggle.
My students were, like, what are we doing math in PE for?
What are we doing science in PE?
Why are we doing literacy?
And I had to show them and tell them why is it important for
them to learn in physical education that you can learn
math, you can learn science and you can learn literacy.
And so what we did is we developed the heart obstacle
course that is changed into, if anybody is familiar with the
"Magic School Bus," we actually changed that to the magic school
bus inside the human heart.
And so my students, the way I learned physiology in college
it wasn't from sitting there and looking at the textbooks.
I had to get creative and go into the environment.
So I actually take my kids in the journey of the magic school
bus inside the human heart.
And then luckily this year my third grade team has been
awesome, instead of having the traditional Valentine's Day
party during heart month, which is great,
we want to do physical activity and then we give
them all this candy --
-- so my teachers and I talked and they said, well, Chris,
we're going to get you a sub so kids don't lose PE.
And can you have a party for us?
I said, sure.
So our party was the magic school bus inside
the human heart.
And the next part of the partnership,
what's nice is instead of teachers dropping their kids
off to PE, they actually came in class and got to see me teach
science, see me teach literacy with the students which is
really empowering to the point where they said that is so much
fun we don't want to tell anybody else because we want
to have it next year.
We don't want anybody else taking that time.
So that was a huge success program.
And that leads me to talking about how it's
not just with my students.
I had to move with my art, music, PE, well, PE, myself,
and tech team, we did a program called "Down on the Farm" and we
actually all four areas took our first graders and brought our
parents in so it is that connection with the parents.
And our parents got to go through art, music,
PE and technology at a night event on the theme
of "Down on the Farm."
And in PE they actually got to walk on the food
guide pyramid -- I know we changed it to the plate now,
but it was the food guide pyramid -- and then in art they
made bracelets about food group representations and went online
and they found out about how much food I should get from
the food group.
So it was a combination partnership.
So it's not just the PE teacher that's saying it.
And I have to step out of PE and step out into the other areas
which leads me to the next part, because I only see my kids 45
minutes a week, how much activity can I really give
them in that much time?
And it's really empowers other people.
So my next step was for me, okay,
back to the magic school bus.
How can I change the yellow school bus field trip?
Well, Fort Collins is very bike friendly.
So but that doesn't mean we're smart and we know how to cycle,
so I became a league certified instructor and I teach my
kindergarteners through fifth graders bike safety in PE at
school with lots of community partnerships to help me make
that happen.
And then my fourth and fifth grade where it's developmentally
appropriate for them to see depth perception we actually
take them and teach them the rules of the road so that they
can be smart cyclists because putting a helmet on doesn't make
you smart, it makes you -- well, excuse me,
it makes you smart but it doesn't make you safe.
Learning the rules of the road can make you safe,
to know to stop, look both ways before you cross.
So we teach those skills to the kids and then we take them to
our community gardens where they learn about how to plant and
putting seeds in and the lifecycle of the plants.
And that was great.
My fourth grade team was there, the parents were there,
the community was there, and still the next thing that leads
me to a partnership it can't just stop there,
it has to keep growing.
And where do kids spend most of their time?
And actually I told this to my kids aloud.
Sometimes I feel like I want to be a classroom teacher because
if I'm a classroom teacher I see you every day,
I'll see you all day long and I can influence you more.
When I'm in PE I only get such a little bit of your time.
So I am changing the environment within the classrooms where we
actually have stability balls in the classrooms down to even our
first graders sit on stability balls to where we have a rail
yard where kids sit on rails and they do brain bricks.
So actually if you look at the science,
if I give you this cue card you won't be able to see it,
but I always love to teach the science of it all and the why
to my students.
And this is a CAT scan of the brain and basically I tell the
brain blue's not good and you all if you looked at your brain
right now would probably be blue because you have been sitting
too long and sitting is the least effective learning
environment and yet we think we just sit and tell and tell
and tell and they're going to learn it.
And so then the other part is getting up and it's where our
brain turns really red it's after just walking
for 20 minutes.
And so that's what helps me to teach my teachers and my
students why you need to have brain breaks in the classrooms
and so that it keeps going on and on and on.
Shellie Phofl: Wow! That's great.
Chris, were you fortunate to have administrators, principal,
whatever, that were on board from the beginning or did you
kind of have to sell them?
Chris West: You know, my principal without a doubt supports
me and he supports my passion and my push,
push, push constantly.
And, you know, but it's not that we always think the same way but
I'm just very tactful about if it doesn't work this way I'll
go this way.
But it's not -- you have to have that support,
but it doesn't necessarily have to.
I'm lucky to have my principal support me.
I'm lucky to have teachers support me.
But not everybody supports me.
There's people who don't believe it but they at the level that
they can believe in it that's what they do and that's where I
push for them.
Whatever their ready for and that's why it's so successful.
Shellie Phofl: Absolutely. So here's a guy who sees, technically sees the kids
45 minutes a week.
A week!
And we are wanting kids to get 60 minutes a day of moderate to
vigorous physical activity.
So he's figured out a way to motivate the kids,
to motivate the parents, to engage his fellow teachers
to helping these kids meet their daily goal.
It can be done.
And we have, again, having crisscrossed this country over
the past couple of years I know that there are many great
individuals and stories of people that have taken
impossible circumstances and made things possible.
So, again, congratulations.
How are we doing on time?
Got five? Okay, great.
I've got just one or two more questions here.
Not everybody has to answer this but if you have a comment on it.
I'm going to go back to resources again.
Because again as I crisscross the country everybody says,
well, if I just had more resources,
if I just had dollars, if I just had this.
And some of you have talked about getting grants, and,
you know, grants are both an art and a science, we know,
but some of you have talked about just utilizing the
resources, the human resources as well as whatever financial
capital, if you will, if you have in your community.
But can you talk about your ability or the necessity of just
really grabbing on to whatever capital, human or otherwise,
that you can get for your programs.
Anybody have thoughts on that?
Dr. Richard Kozoll: As being a specialist and working with scarce resources,
I've been a family doctor for almost 40 years and I'm used to
working one-on-one with people.
And yet I saw the problem was a resource-poor environment where
we needed help.
And that was the importance of the external partners,
because I am the first to admit I knew nothing about
transportation planning, I knew nothing about trail building,
I knew nothing about land management.
But these were all areas of expertise that we needed.
And so my suggestion is look for the external partnerships and
try to get the expertise and the resources through your partners.
Dr. Carolyn Ward: You know, I would echo that.
We started our program "Kids in Parks" with three partners,
one funding source, one location,
and pulling in physicians all over the country that care about
the health of their patients.
And schools, we have nature trail disk golf courses in
schools, we have teachers and principals and looking -- I
can't know everything and so finding those experts out there
that can help you in leveraging your capacity is really the key.
Like Jason, one of our folks we brought in to run our program,
if it hadn't been for him, we wouldn't have the nature trail
disk golf, and everybody that comes in brings something unique
to the table and can help increase dramatically
your capacity.
Kenny Owens: That's similar with DC Scores, you know,
like I said earlier, we're in 27 schools and there are
things that we do great.
As far as working with teachers, training teachers,
training coaches.
But, you know, we might not have the best evaluation system so we
have to partner with other organizations that do that well
in order to get money, in order to have a successful program.
So I think partnerships are extremely important if you're
trying to expand at any level.
Shawanda Weems: Right, the work can't be done without a partnership.
So for New York, New York Road Runners is our resource and in
collaboration with the New York City Department of Education
they are able to pretty much fund the work that we do so that
the children just don't walk away with the ability to think
that I can walk for this amount of time or that I can run but
they have incentives, they have medals, they have T shirts,
they have bags, so it's a constant visible reminder for
a five-year old, oh, I want to get that next mile, you know,
medal and that I'm working towards this incentive and
that's the work that we just wouldn't be able to do without
the partnership from the New York Road Runner to our
Department of Education.
Shellie Phofl: Great. Great.
Any other thoughts?
Cindy Coughlin: Yes, the same thing with my school.
If my principal wasn't supportive of the program,
if the teachers at the school weren't excited about everything
we do, we wouldn't have any of the programs there.
I work with the school adjustment counselor and
we have a great partnership.
We do many of the programs.
And so we're putting socialization with physical
education which is really a great match.
And without her help many of these programs wouldn't happen.
So just in my school alone the people in my school are an
incredible source of resource and just support of all the
programs that I do.
Chris West: Sure. And real quick, just all of my success is really
built upon partnerships.
We do have grants, I don't want to get into those details,
but really grants, if you're looking for grants,
that's great, but you have got to start with the foundation of
how is this going to sustain and that is really based
upon partnerships.
So many people are passionate about this to the point where
this is a nice award where I get to tell everybody my story but
my favorite award that I got was from a student who became
a Youth Senator for the Day and she went down and talked
to Senator Bob Bacon and actually her mock bill --
and I had no idea she was going down there -- that was the best
part about this was daily PE -- or excuse me,
PE for three days a week at least.
And that's the huge part is building those partnerships.
That is what the grant people want to hear is how you're going
to sustain that after and it's really by building partnerships.
Shellie Phofl: Yeah. Great.
That's a great point. That sustainability.
And I think as funders they want to know how you're going
to be sustainable.
So partnerships is key.
Also part of sustainability is building those new users, right,
as you talked about, you know, who is going to appreciate the
parks if our kids are not experiencing them.
And will they be good stewards of our land
and our resources.
So I think that's another theme that has come through.
So, wow!
This has been great!
Congratulations again to all of you!
Let's give our wonderful award winners another
round of applause.
I think we can see -- I don't want to call
these folks ordinary, but, you know,
these are ordinary people doing extraordinary things.
And I think we have so many people out there across the
country that are doing just that,
and as much as we can lift them up,
we absolutely should as we move forward.
So thank you again.
I'm going to ask you guys to make your way down,
and as they are coming down and our new panelists are coming up,
I'm going to reintroduce you to Sam Kass, as the First Lady did.
Sam is the assistant chef at the White House,
and he's also the senior advisor for healthy food initiatives in
the Office of the First Lady.
So, Sam, back to you.
Sam Kass: Thank you, Shellie.
Can we give Shellie a round of applause?
She's just amazing.
Sam Kass: Have enough seats?
Everybody doing all right?
It's pretty great, huh?
Pretty amazing work.
It's -- it's just -- it keeps us going to hear these stories and
get this information, it really -- it helps shape us in the
most, you know, in a pretty profound way.
So now we're going to talk about all the other places where kids'
lives are being touched and impacted with physical activity.
And what's happening with kids outside of school,
what's happening with kids, you know,
when they go home in their communities,
and how can we -- what's going on,
how can we work together and how can we help unite this space.
And I think that's going to be something we're really going to
try to work on here is how do we bring our efforts together,
leverage our -- all the resources and knowledge and
wisdom that's being put in so it raises all boats.
And I think the more we work and amplify our messaging together,
the more successful we're all going to be.
So I think it's appropriate to start
this discussion with Cameron.
Would you agree with that?
Cameron Hajialiakbar: I agree as well.
Sam Kass: So you are the youngest Champion of Change.
And I think there's a couple of things I would
love to hear from you.
You know, one is, you know, how can we speak to youth in a way
that really engages, excites and then motivates them?
You've done amazing work starting Coaching Corps in
your high school.
Cameron Hajialiakbar: UCLA.
Sam Kass: I'm sorry, in your college.
Sorry, sorry, sorry.
At UCLA, of course.
Sorry. You're not that young.
Cameron Hajialiakbar: It's a little bigger than my high school.
Sam Kass: Yes, a lot bigger.
And that -- but that -- you know,
how do we engage kids not only to get them active,
but also as leaders.
And I think for folks who have been working on this issue for
a long time, that is the -- that's the Holy Grail here,
when young people start owning this issue and leading it is
when we're going to really take this to the next level.
So I'd love to hear some thoughts in your experience.
Cameron Hajialiakbar: Okay. So the First Lady gave a nice little anecdote about how
when she was young, she had the liberty and the opportunity to
run around in her community and play with her friends and had
that chance to learn and grow.
A lot of the children that Coaching Corps deals with don't
have that opportunity.
They live in communities where they're discouraged from getting
involved in physical activity because they simply do not have
safe places to play.
So what we have to do is then we need to figure out a way to get
these kids in safe and healthy environments where they can grow
and thrive and actually get involved and get moving.
So basically where Coaching Corps comes in is that they
change the game for these kids by providing volunteer -- we're
a group of growing individuals that are volunteer coaches going
into these under-privileged communities where there are
these marginalized children and giving them the coaches that
they not only need, but they definitely do deserve.
And the way to get these kids more involved is something that
Coaching Corps is always dealing with and always trying to figure
out new and innovative ways.
From my personal experience, the best way to get a child involved
in your program and keep them coming is to provide them with
that safe and healthy environment.
If a child feels uncomfortable coming and playing a sport with
you or they feel unsure or uncertain,
they're going to -- they're not going to come and they're not
going to come back, and they might take
their friends with them.
And this is something that we try to avoid.
And you need to understand, secondly,
that these children are not coming for your drills,
they're not coming for your promise of making them at a
higher level of fitness.
If I told a kid, hey, you're going to be really fit if you
come play soccer with me, they're going to be like,
take a hike, man, I got more important things to worry about.
So what you have to do is you really need to acknowledge that
this is a social building, as you said,
a leadership building opportunity for these kids.
They're coming into these programs because their friends
are coming.
They want to build these relationships
with their friends.
And I hope that they also want to come to hang out with me and
get to know me a little bit better.
But that's -- that's the main reason.
So if you can create an environment where you have these
kids together and socializing and trusting you and respecting
you, that's the most successful way you can go about it.
And ways that I've seen that you can do that is by just really
getting the kids involved and almost letting them have their
own stamp and their own impact on your program.
You need to first develop -- I'm sorry,
develop a relationship with them,
just start out by asking them about their day,
what they're up to, what they've been doing,
what their interests are, and then as they slowly gain your
trust and you gain their trust, you can tell them, hey,
what do you guys want to do next week,
what are things that you guys want to learn about.
I coach soccer, so I say, well, you guys want to do more
shooting drills, you guys want to try heading the ball next
week, what do you guys want to do?
And then so if somebody says, Cameron,
I want to do World's Cup next week and then maybe soccer golf
after that.
If I go and do that program that next week, that kid sees, hey,
Coach Cameron listened to what I wanted,
he developed that program around what me and my friends wanted to
do, they're going to come, they're going to tell their
friends this is a fun opportunity,
you can do what you want, and then that creates that
leadership role is I have a voice.
Sam Kass: Right.
Cameron Hajialiakbar: My voice can be heard.
Sam Kass: Right.
Cameron Hajialiakbar: And there's somebody there to listen,
which these kids that we deal with haven't had very
much in their lives.
Sam Kass: Right. I think that empowerment is so --
is at the core of success.
Can you briefly -- was there a moment that, in your experience,
that made you shift to not being like a player and athlete,
but wanting to be a leader in this?
What was that moment if you had one?
Cameron Hajialiakbar: Oh, as far as -- the funny thing about -- I've been a
soccer player my whole life, that's what I identify with.
Coming to UCLA, I got in there for academics,
I didn't get in there to play soccer,
so I quickly was pulled away from being involved and being
a soccer player, and I really looked at what was important
to me in my life and the people that were important
to me in my life.
And aside from my parents, the most influential people in my
life were my coaches.
And I've been fortunate enough to have the opportunity that my
parents are supporting me through college,
so I have the chance to give back.
And so I said, the best way to invest my time is in children,
because there are kids out there that don't have the
same coaches, the same opportunities that I had.
And I think it would have been extremely selfish of me to not
have done this.
That's really the way I feel.
It's not something that I wanted to do,
it's something that I felt I needed to do,
because these kids need somebody like that.
So that was really the moment when I understood that these
kids need role models, they need mentors,
somebody needs to step into that role.
I mean, if you're not going to do it, nobody will.
So you take the initiative.
And so I did and it's been great, and I love it.
Sam Kass: And here you are in the White House.
Not bad, man.
No, that's amazing, and I think it just shows that when we
invest in young people and we take the time over the course of
a young person's life where it leads people to -- their whole
perspective on what their role and responsibility is to the
next generation, so that's inspiring.
And thank you so much for being here.
Cameron Hajialiakbar: Thank you very much.
Sam Kass: Sarah, thank you for coming, your work has been inspirational
in Toledo working with the YMCA and the JCC.
I'd love to hear your thoughts on some of the challenges that
you face, on bringing together, you know,
coalitions and really getting the support to kids.
And what are the sort of three best practices,
or the three things that you found that are sort of critical
to success in your work?
Sarah Bucher: As with many of the communities, you've heard that safe places to
play is a huge challenge, and something that's reality
for our communities.
So the YMCA is a great resource for not only our community,
but also many of your communities.
More than 75% of the country households live within five
miles of a YMCA.
So it's a great place for kids to come play and be active and
have fun and it's safe.
So several years ago, we created a program called Kids in Motion
where children could come and play,
we offered it for free to the community.
And this was several years ago.
It's changed a little bit since then.
But we've offered free physical activity where kids could come
and play with structured role models,
and we create a curriculum for that.
So a part of that challenge was once that curriculum is created
and you use it, what do you do to keep it exciting and ongoing.
So there are very many resources in our communities where other
people have created curriculum, and they're more than willing to
come and help you implement that curriculum.
So we've worked with a lot of our partners to come and train
or child development leaders on the curriculum.
And as you know, childcare development leaders are not
typically versed in healthy nutrition and physical activity,
so we've helped them learn some tips and techniques that they
can take in their classrooms to easily implement the activities.
In our child development centers,
we have implemented guidelines where kids during the school
year for after-school programs participate a minimum of 20
minutes of physical activity and play,
and then during the summer, they've -- they participate
in a minimum of 60 minutes per day.
So that is one -- one way that kids have become active.
And as I mentioned, our partnerships are amazing.
We've recently become involved in an initiative called
Pioneering Healthier Communities through the Robert Wood Johnson
Foundation, and it kind of looks outside the program area.
So what we're looking at more is policy,
systems and environmental change.
Taking looks at different things in our community,
such as healthy corner stores, built environment,
making sure that if kids live in a neighborhood where it's not
safe to play or safe to walk to school,
we take a look at those sidewalks and try to implement
some changes so that the kids can walk to school or bike to
school, and maybe families afterwards can take walks
in the evening.
We're starting another initiative actually next week
at one of our local elementaries called a walking school bus,
and we piloted this program last summer with our YMCA and
an apartment complex that was nearby where it was a very
underserved part of town, and we wanted to come bring programming
to that area and some system changes.
So we talked to some volunteers, adult volunteers to see if they
would be interested in learning what a walking school bus is and
how to implement it.
So basically we've trained some adult leaders on how to safely
walk kids from their apartments to our YMCA where we had summer
feeding going on, where we had healthy meals, not just,
you know, anything, it was healthy meals and fresh fruits
and vegetables, and participated in physical activity and play.
So they either received lunch or dinner free of charge,
and then they participated in the physical activity and play.
And if they were there long enough,
they even got a healthy snack.
So that was a really great program.
And the walking school bus, we had over 40 kids just in one
program, participating just in one walking school bus.
So we took it to their local elementary school,
and will be introducing it to some volunteers next week,
and kicking it off with the school to do a walking school
bus, that way kids can walk from their home to school in
an organized fashion and not be too worried about
the unsafe neighborhood.
So that's what we're working on.
And like I said, we could not do any of this without any of our
partners and the support that we have through our partnerships.
Sam Kass: Yeah. We've been working actually very closely with
the Y, and the Partnerships of the America just had a major
announcement with the Y about nutrition and activity levels
after school.
It's been -- it's been amazing.
And the impact is we're already seeing it play out.
Well, thank you so much for being here.
It's just great.
Sarah Bucher: Thank you.
Cameron Hajialiakbar: Sorry.
Sam Kass: That's all right.
I love the enthusiasm!
Sam Kass: Robert, how are you, sir?
So your new wife Amy started Beyond the Ball, right?
Robert Castaneda: Yes.
Sam Kass: I would love to hear about this program and some of the
impacts that go beyond just health and wellness, but,
you know, how you see these efforts really impacting the
children, the whole child that you serve.
Robert Castaneda: Sure. Well, Rob Castaneda from Chicago.
I'd like to first of all thank --
Sam Kass: What part of Chicago, by the way?
Robert Castaneda: The west side.
Sam Kass: There you go.
All right, I'm a south side guy, myself.
Robert Castaneda: Little Village, shout out.
Sam Kass: There you go.
Go ahead, Little Village.
Hyde Park.
Robert Castaneda: I'd like to, first of all, recognize my wife Amy who is
here with me today.
She's my Champion of Change.
Sam Kass: Where's Amy?
Robert Castaneda: Right there.
Sam Kass: Give it up for Amy!
Robert Castaneda: But then also thank the First Lady and
the Obama administration for setting this up to bring
awareness of this.
You know, being in Chicago, we've got our fair share of,
you know, violence issues in Chicago,
and it's actually the way my wife and I got into this work.
My wife is a Chicago public schoolteacher,
and we actually moved into the community where we live now
because that's where she got her first full-time assignment
back in 1998.
And, you know, within that first year,
we had our house set on fire twice by a local gang,
they came back a third time, threatened to kill us for
calling the police on them.
And that's just what life is like in a lot of our
under-resourced communities.
And, you know, after we decided that we were going to stay
there, right, but that was the easy decision,
the fact that we're going to stay here.
The hard decision is what are we going to do, right,
what are we going to do to help the kids that we work with in
the community because of this, you know,
violence that's all around us.
You know, in our community, there's over 2,000 members of
one gang and then over a thousand of another gang,
that's in two square miles.
This last week alone, we've had seven people shot, three killed,
including a little -- a 6-year-old girl from our
program, bitty ball program.
And, you know, for us, sports is a big part of our life.
And, you know, way too often, right,
a lot of the programs out there, so we do sports-based youth
community development.
And a lot of times youth development and these programs
are, you know, driven by space and access to space.
And those are the spaces that we just don't normally have, right,
that's why we're under-resourced communities.
Schools aren't open at all times, you know,
there aren't a whole lot of actual, you know,
places to play.
And so we recognized several years ago the need to use the
leverage that we get building relationships through sport,
which is a big part of it, and use that leverage that you can
get through building relationships with youth
and families in sport, and use that leverage to
build safe community spaces.
I think the longer we just keep focusing on creating -- or in
doing youth development and building safe spaces inside of
buildings, the less opportunity is actually created for kids
when they're not in school or when they're not in programs,
because our kids need safe spaces to move in, right,
when they're not in school, when they're just out in
the neighborhood.
And right now, kids are on the street more now than there are
like in a program and things like that.
So as an organization, we work with our community, with other,
you know, partnerships is a big thing.
A lot of great organizations work in the neighborhood.
But, you know, just using the idea of play and movement to
bring people together, to create safe spaces,
to reclaim our play spaces so that, you know,
kids and families perceive them as places to be.
Right now, they're places people fear, right,
because that's where fighting, that's where
violence takes place.
And, you know, so a big part of our work is just that, right,
it's creating those safe public spaces.
But yeah, you know, right now, this is really an emotional
time, because, right, we shouldn't have to be burying
our 6-year-old children.
I go -- you know, this just happened Saturday,
we'll go home and we'll go her funeral this weekend.
And, you know, so I would say to, you know, on this platform,
right, for our, you know, policymakers or funders,
having programs in schools is great,
it's a great place to -- it's a start,
but we really need to be equipping our communities
to be able to provide opportunities on a local
level to reclaim those play spaces.
It's simple things like lighting, right, you know,
if you have light in a park, that makes a big difference.
Sam Kass: Yep. And last week, I think 38 people were shot in Chicago and
nine were killed.
Robert Castaneda: Yes, within a 24-hour period.
Sam Kass: It's -- when kids have to grapple with that kind of
environment, the notion of going out to run around just --
that just doesn't make any sense to them.
And especially for their parents.
So when we think about trying to address these issues,
obviously small community organizations can't do
that alone.
And really it's a call for building a broad coalition with
stakeholders from every corner of the city and the country,
because this is an issue that is so fundamental to all of life.
I mean, that also affects things like going to the grocery store
or walking to school.
And if your life is on the line, then maybe you should sit that
day out, in school out.
And so we need to think as broad and big as we can about who
needs to be at the table when we talk about these issues.
So for the kids you can reach, you know,
what do you -- you know, are you able to break
through with your program?
What are the -- is there an anecdote you can give or
something to color sort of the impact when you're able
to provide that space for some of the children that
you're working with?
Robert Castaneda: You know, I think in our community,
we're the youngest community in the City of Chicago,
we have over 40,000 youth under the age of 25 within
two square miles.
And so, right, when you work with youth in an environment
where gangs are normalized, right, you know,
we have kids who are dead, we have kids who, you know,
are serving, you know, 30-year prison sentences,
but we also have kids who are Bill and Linda Gates scholarship
winners, we have kids who are teachers in the
neighborhood now.
And, you know, a big part about, you know,
getting back to your question, is, you know,
just creating that environment to create positive peer
networks, you know, we hear about gangs all the time and
that's those negative peer networks, but I think, you know,
the thing that we're doing here through sport and play in the
neighborhood is we're creating these positive peer networks,
right, and these are networks that, you know,
as a -- as a mentor, as a coach, right,
I can't be with every youth that we serve 24/7,
but they're with their friends 24/7,
and if we can put them around them coaches, right,
people who can speak truth into their lives,
people who can -- who they can bounce some of those ideas and
give them direction, you know, and sustain those positive peer
networks, right.
Sam Kass: Right. Right.
So obviously what's built here is far greater than a ball.
And I think the potential power for change that goes way beyond
both sport and nutrition, when we see the same thing when we
get a grocery store in a community that has had none
for a long time, it's like these foundational components,
when you put all that together is how you build a strong
community that raises the future of our country.
So thank you for what you're doing,
it is -- it is inspirational.
So I want to turn to Ed, a good friend and done amazing
work with U.S. Soccer Foundation, standing in
for our champion Hector Avila who had to be with his wife
today, an exciting day for him.
But tell me about Soccer for Success,
the framework of the program, the goals,
maybe some of the challenges, but what are you seeing as you,
you know, utilize, you know, the world's sport, right,
about some of the other successes that you're seeing
across -- across communities with Soccer for Success.
Ed Foster-Simeon: Thanks, Sam.
First let me say that I talked to Hector this morning,
and he wanted me to be sure to say how honored he is to be
recognized in this way, and that he really would have been here,
but his wife is -- when I got on the phone,
I thought I was going to say within days,
but when I talked to him it sounded like within minutes of
having their second child.
So he has a good excuse for not being here.
Sam Kass: I think we'll give him a pass.
What do you guys think?
Ed Foster-Simeon: So -- but Hector is the driving force behind a program
called Soccer for Success that the foundation developed a
curriculum for and pushes out into communities across
the country.
It's a sports-based youth development program in the
after-school hours, offered free to children in elementary
and middle school.
And it uses soccer as a vehicle to engage children in fun
activities and which they can also learn from their coaches.
You heard a lot about coaches as mentors and teachers and leaders
in the community.
And that's one of the things that we under-leverage in this
country, to be quite frank about it.
You know, everybody says sports are good for you, et cetera,
et cetera, but the fact of the matter is they're best for you
when you have a coach who actually thinks more about than
just winning games, but thinks about how can I teach you,
how can I educate you.
So Soccer for Success is a program that builds that right
into the play of soccer.
Children are playing soccer, they have drills and games,
but during those -- that play, they are learning about what to
eat, what not to eat, what to drink, living active,
healthy lifestyles.
And the program also delivers 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous
physical activity three days a week.
There was some talk about safety and the safe play spaces.
This is an incredible issue, it's really nice to sit and
say why don't the kids just go out and play,
but in many communities, even well-to-do communities,
parents don't let their children go out to play
because they're afraid.
So it's the importance of creating safe environments where
children and their parents feel comfortable that my child can go
out and have fun, have an activity.
And when you see the laughter and the joy on the children's
face and you see the parents, how much they get out of seeing
their children play in a safe environment,
you can't put a value on that.
And the health outcomes for children being able to run
around and get the physical activity they need are
incredible, as you know.
Sam Kass: Yeah. And so what are some of the -- where
do you see this going?
I mean, are you guys working to -- you know,
what's the future of Soccer for Success?
Ed Foster-Simeon: Soccer for Success we hope to scale it nationally.
We're doubling the number of children served next year from
8,000 to 16,000.
We're working on new models to be able to provide the program
in various environments, in school, out of school.
But the after-school environment is the prime environment that we
look for, because it is -- the Justice Department will tell you
it's the most dangerous time for children is in the after-school
hours, from the time they get out of school before their
parents get home or whatever.
And providing an alternative.
When we talked with the Justice Department,
we were looking at budgeting costs when we were trying to
formulate the program, and we provide children with a jersey,
and we were thinking, well, you know,
maybe we could cut that out, you know, and they were like, no,
you can't cut that out, because that is the identifier for the
kid that keeps them connected and feeling that they're
belonging to a team, a positive team and they're
connected to that.
And so we include that as part of the program.
But Soccer for Success is the kind of program that's easy to
implement, it's low cost, there's a curriculum associated
with it, and it focuses on delivering things in a simple
way, not in a competitive way where it's about who has the
undefeated record, but about how much activity are we getting
these children, how much are we teaching these children,
and how many opportunities are we giving them to have the kind
of fun and freedom that we had as children growing up.
Sam Kass: You said something that I think is so interesting and
it's really a theme that's being echoed is about the jersey.
And the notion that in the end what's -- what we have here is
this is a platform for kids to be connected to something bigger
than themselves, and it's that connectedness that makes you
feel -- when you're a part of something, something bigger,
then, you know, that gives you hope.
And I think we see that, you know,
we've heard that in various different words,
but I think it's something that cuts to the core of this that
we're going to try to really work to lift up.
Ed Foster-Simeon: It's not only the child being connected,
but what we were finding is that the program also connects the
parents in a way that is interesting.
So, for example, the children in Houston are going home and
telling their parents, hey, we're supposed to be eating
broccoli and spinach, you know, et cetera.
Sam Kass: Yep.
Ed Foster-Simeon: And yet in the communities that they live in, those resources
are not necessarily available.
Sam Kass: Right.
Ed Foster-Simeon: So what we've seen in some of our communities where
parents have gone to the program say,
is there any chance that you can get a farmer's market to come
out on Fridays when the kids are practicing and that we can get
some of these things.
Sam Kass: I love that.
>>Ed Foster-Simeon: You know, we're starting to see parents showing up at
practices because they want to see their children play and have
fun and laugh, and then suddenly you can engage fathers and get
them involved in volunteering and providing their
infrastructure in the community.
So it becomes like a hook, a nucleus in the community that
a lot can be built around.
Sam Kass: Yeah, that's amazing.
So I'm going to turn to Andre.
I think, Andre, you hear -- you can hear just how critical --
Andre works in Portland for the park service
and sports management.
And I think you hear just how critical the role of cities are
in creating safe spaces and real access to sport and to play.
She is so cute.
Sam Kass: I love your pink dress.
Sam Kass: So I think that we see just, you know,
that -- there's a lot of work being done,
but without the support of the city,
without leadership and real investment there that, you know,
communities are just going to fall short.
So if you can talk about some of the work you've done in
Portland, what have been some of the keys to move that forward
and be successful?
Because you've done amazing, amazing work.
And how should we be thinking about engaging cities and mayors
and city councils on really getting behind some of these
programs and efforts?
Andre Ashley: Okay. Thank you.
You have to bear with me, if you guys didn't notice,
I'm used to going first, you know, and --
Sam Kass: Hey, you know, we got to change it up a little bit, right?
Andre Ashley: Okay.
Well, I think Portland parks, the City of Portland, we, again,
it's what we've been hearing with the last panel and this
panel as well, partnership is definitely the key.
We believe that we don't necessarily have -- we don't
have any enemies in the city.
And we want to partner with people,
because if you can do what we do and you can do it at a lesser
cost and you can do it better, then we'd love to have you.
You know, so that's something to keep in mind,
because I think you guys need to go approach your local
governments, because we're the ones that are resource rich,
you know, so we have -- we have the fields and things that --
that you guys can utilize, you know, safe places so to speak.
So, you know, we -- my staff and I,
we run tons of youth programs, and so does the entire bureau,
but specifically for us, I manage our sports programs in
Portland parks, so if there's a ball in a court,
it's in my area of expertise.
And we do -- right now we run an enormous basketball league.
And I'm going to talk about that,
because that's the bigger of the program.
We do a partnership with Portland public schools,
which is one of five school districts in Portland Oregon,
it is the biggest school district.
What they do is they make their resources available,
so their schools, don't quote me on the number of schools,
but they have 100 and some odd schools in the city of Portland.
What we do is we run our basketball league and we have,
just this past winter, we had 365 teams, I believe.
And what we do, that is --
Sam Kass: Teams or people?
Andre Ashley: Teams. Teams.
Sam Kass: Man!
Andre Ashley: 300. And to explain how we get to that number,
but it's from fourth grade through seniors in high school.
So if you got high school kids that get cut from their high
school team --
Sam Kass: Yeah.
Andre Ashley: -- we have a place for them to play.
But with those kind of numbers, we don't have the facilities to
facilitate the program, so we have this partnership with
Portland public schools.
Now, from 3:00 to 6:00 o'clock, anything Portland public schools
needs to facilitate their high school sports,
because they don't have sports in middle school or elementary
school in Portland, so anything they need to do or use of ours,
we make it available.
And in turn, on Saturdays when I run our youth basketball
program, they make their gyms available.
So we play at 35 different sites on a Saturday.
Start like clockwork, first game is at 9:00 o'clock,
last game is at 4:10.
You know, so partnership is the key to making these
things available.
And I think you have to look at it in terms of we all here are
are serving the children, at least that's what we should do.
You know, I can't tell you that I did this so I could be in the
White House and be sitting here, no.
I did this because someone took time out to help me when I was
a kid, and if they didn't do that, I may not be sitting here.
So my idea was, I got to give back in some kind of way,
and that's how we do it.
Sam Kass: I mean, I think everybody here understands that
joint use is such a key lever for us to pull.
And finding a better way to utilize just an unbelievable
amount of space, safe spaces that do exist that just aren't
being opened to our kids is critical.
And that's an unbelievably, you know, amazing,
I was going to use -- I'm going to call it beautiful,
I was going to say a beautiful model of what that can be.
And I think we all are going to have to work very hard at
elevating that issue, making sure people become aware of it,
because this is -- it's as much of awareness as anything else,
that people don't even realize what they're sitting on.
And so that's a -- that's fantastic,
that's a lot of teams.
That's pretty impressive.
Andre Ashley: It's a headache, too.
Sam Kass: I'm sure it is.
I'm sure it is, but it's well worth it.
Andre Ashley: It is.
Sam Kass: It's well worth it, my friend.
So, Bryan, Bryan "Bear" Bosto; is that right?
Bryan "Bear" Bosto: Bosto.
Sam Kass: Bosto.
You may have to give us a little background on the Bear nickname.
Bryan "Bear" Bosto: I don't know how I got it.
Sam Kass: No?
Bryan "Bear" Bosto: Just had it since birth.
Sam Kass: No idea. Can anybody guess?
So, you know, you work with native youth, and, you know,
we have been working very hard.
"Let's Move!" in Indian country has been an amazing success as
part of our platform.
You started the Lax-4-Life program.
I would love to hear more about your work.
And briefly, so what are some of the keys or things we should be
thinking about when we're working with native youth
or specifically targeting, you know,
youth in those communities where we can be the most effective?
Bryan "Bear" Bosto: Well, when you're talking about native youth,
you're talking about a lack of resources in Indian country.
Someone talked about diabetes earlier today,
there's a lot of kids on the reservation that are -- that
could be diagnosed with juvenile diabetes.
Lack of parenting might be -- some parents at home,
there's no father, no mentors, no uncles.
A couple years ago when we started with the Lax-4-Life
camp, it was just thrown out to tribal council,
council sent it to me, what could we do to get involved.
So we contacted the people that met with the tribal councils and
ended up started working with Andy Arlotta, you know,
from the Minnesota Swarm team, they're the professional
lacrosse team in Minnesota.
We had him on board, he wanted to bring the big -- that game
back to the original players, which is Native American
lacrosse of North America.
So we thought it was a pretty good fit with our -- with our
center programming.
The first year we started our year in 2010, a week-long camp.
The thing about this camp, it wasn't just for my community,
not just my reservation in my state.
This camp opened up the door to five other reservations to bring
down five other kids.
So we're looking at five kids from maybe 90 to 100 miles away
leaving their communities to come to Fond du Lac to be a part
of this Lacrosse for Life camp.
So a lot of -- like I said, my blog,
that I got to say thank you to them for stepping up and being
leaders to leave their communities to come to the camp.
But -- and it's not just the camp that we're teaching,
we're not just coming in saying, all right, here's a stick,
you get out in the field and go hit each other, it's not that.
Sam Kass: Well, that's good.
I'm glad that that's not what's going on.
Bryan "Bear" Bosto: But what we ended up doing was we had the
Native American law enforcement summit, Clint Letch on board,
Andy Arlotta, and what we ended up doing was bringing a law
enforcement aspect, a lot of male mentors there,
figures there.
And that helped out.
The first year we were kind of -- there was kind of a worry
about these kids that were coming in,
but they really -- they really opened up to the mentors,
the chaperones, the law enforcement guys.
And then we had them, law enforcement and everyone come
in and teach them -- or talk to them about drugs and alcohol,
the use of this type of -- heroin, crack,
that type of stuff, and tobacco even.
So it wasn't just we're teaching them lacrosse,
it was leadership skills, life skills, how to say no.
And kids definitely loved the second year, we had the U.S.
Marshals on board, and they actually brought their tactical
gear so the kids -- what do they call a suit, I can't remember.
What do they call a suit, Josh?
Josh: They call it a Ghillie suit.
Bryan "Bear" Bosto: Yeah, Ghillie suit, the kids --
Sam Kass: That will get them moving, huh?
Bryan "Bear" Bosto: But, yeah, the kids definitely liked it.
And I was amazed at how open they were with law --
Sam Kass: Yeah.
Bryan "Bear" Bosto: -- with law enforcement officials, kind of opened
up their eyes and --
Sam Kass: Yeah.
Bryan "Bear" Bosto: This year -- last year was our second year,
we expanded the program to include girls,
so which was kind of a little hard to do since it was all
males planning the event.
Sam Kass: (inaudible) to that one.
Bryan "Bear" Bosto: The girls, we threw the girls in with a male sport,
and I'm quite proud of the nine girls that showed
up, because they definitely took all the awards at the banquet.
Sam Kass: Not surprising. Yeah.
Give it up for them.
Bryan "Bear" Bosto: We are planning a third year this year,
and we do have the Minnesota National Guard on board along
with the University of Minnesota with donating youth lodging.
So it's just all about partnerships,
opening up the door, thinking outside of the box what
resources can we bring to our community.
And if you have people in place that have that mentality that
bring resources in, you can get a lot of --
Sam Kass: And it's -- yeah, and it's such a great way to connect youth to
real mentors that can put them on the right path,
and you see it's just one mentor away from changing a kid's life.
Okay, Melissa, we're going to end with you.
And you are just a phenomenal human being,
what an inspiration.
So, Melissa is a world champion para-triathlete, and, you know,
probably by far the most skilled athlete in this entire room.
Melissa Stockwell: That's not fair to say.
Sam Kass: That's --
Melissa Stockwell: We have an ironman in the audience.
Sam Kass: Hey, I think you'll give him a run for his money.
But, listen, you are truly an inspiration.
Please, you know, can you give us a little color on your
Dare2tri program.
And give us some insight about how, you know,
how we engage disabled youth, making sure that they're getting
the activity that they need, it's -- you know, there's some,
you know, obviously unique set of challenges there,
but equally as important to make sure that those kids are getting
the activity and engagement that's possible.
And we'd just love to hear your experience about where -- how
you got here.
Melissa Stockwell: Yeah. So Dare2tri is a para triathlon club, so that's swim,
bike and run, that serves youth, adults and injured service
members, such as myself, and gets them involved in the sport
of triathlon.
The club was started about a year ago with myself,
Keri Schindler who is in the audience as well, and Dan Tun,
and all of us are avid triathletes,
and realize the importance of getting people with disabilities
active and really the positive impact it can
have in their life.
So what Dare2tri does is we have -- so for example,
a youth athlete who may not have the resources to purchase the
expensive equipment needed to be physically active.
And that's where Dare2tri can step in.
So we will provide a handcycle, which is a bike that you
basically ride with your arms, and we will get this athlete,
this person in their wheelchair out of their wheelchair and into
this handcycle and let them feel like what it's like to
ride a bike.
We will let them -- we'll provide them with a racing
chair that they can get in and they can do their run
part of a triathlon.
We provide coaching where our athletes can come to us,
they can come to swim clinics, run clinics, bike clinics,
and they can get in the water with our experienced and
certified coaches and we can teach them how to swim again
with their disability.
And then you put all that together,
and we see them cross the finish line in a triathlon.
And talk about an impact, talk about seeing their faces,
you know, light up.
And you look over at the families and you can just see
the pride on their faces and realizing not only what they've
done physically, what they physically accomplished by
swimming, biking and running with a disability,
but also that confidence, that confidence carries over into all
aspects of their life.
And it really raises the expectations for that family on
where that child can go and how far they can go -- how far they
can go in their life.
And I think there's a common theme here with kind of
partnering together, and we partnered with -- in Chicago the
Great Lakes adapted a sports association and the Chicago
parks districts, and by the passion that the three of us
had starting this club and really being able to partner
with these already established organizations and using their
resources, the equipment and the facilities,
it's really grown our club faster and bigger than we
ever -- than we ever could have imagined.
And by going to physical therapy gyms and prosthetic places where
I work, Sheck and Siress Prosthetics, and really,
you know, encouraging our patients that come in that,
you know what, we -- there are running legs that I have and
that they can get as well.
And they don't have to -- they don't have to walk around and
be in a wheelchair, they can be active as well.
And just the confidence and just the impact we have on
these athletes' lives and on their entire
lives is pretty phenomenal.
Sam Kass: I mean, it's just amazing.
I think it's humbling for all of us, you know,
to know what you accomplished personally and how you're taking
that to so many people who -- you're changing lives.
So thank you, and we hope to continue to build on that and
take it to new places.
So we're about out of time, but I just want
to say a couple things.
Today has just been amazing.
First of all, thank you to Allie and other -- and OPE and other
staff who helped put this together.
President's council.
To Shellie and your team as well,
you guys did an amazing job.
You know, we are completely dedicated to really turning
this around and ensuring that all kids have access
to sport and play.
All kids, not just athletes, but all kids in need.
And I think over the next year, our call is really going to be
around uniting the space.
We all have to work more closely together to support each other's
work, we're all driving to the same set of goals.
And the more we can leverage our efforts and the more we can
support each other's work, the bigger this is going to become.
And if we continue to work sort of off by ourselves in our one
program and we're over here talking about this over there,
we're not going to be able to take this to a place where we're
really touching everybody, and that we attack these set of
issues together.
And so we're really going to work very hard on that,
and we're going to work to really inspire our nation of
young people to -- to get active,
because that's the other key component,
to really take leadership and own this.
And so as we're doing that, we're going to have to keep
rethinking how we're implementing our programs,
how we can make them better, how we can make them more effective,
how we really are getting them to have the outcomes that we're
striving for.
And that's only going to happen if we continue to talk,
share what's working, talk about what's not,
let us know how we can be helpful,
we'll let you know how you can be helpful,
and together I think -- there's a moment right now where we can
really make incredible progress on this and really change the
course of this nation.
And so -- but only if we're really coming together around
this set of issues.
So this is an amazing example of what's possible.
And we are going to continue to lift these efforts up and
continue to drive this forward.
So thank you for your work.
This is just yet -- this is a new -- yet another new beginning
to an amazing next few months, years and decades ahead.
So thank you, and we'll see you soon.