The mission of the Montville Youth Services Bureau (MYSB) organizes activities that enrich the social, recreational, cultural, and educational experiences of the youth.
Recently, the staff at MYSB found a physical activity program called “NFL Play 60” that encourages children to get 60 minutes of physical activity each day. To support the kids, the MYSB After School Program has planned a month-long program that includes lots of physical activity and some special guests. The program will wrap up on April 15 with a special flag football game.
Kim Grant works at MYSB as a program developer, and has worked hard to organize the schedule of events.
Grant is a die-hard Red Sox fan.
“The kids make fun of me for that all the time,” she says.
Q: What is the goal of the NFL Play 60 program?
A: This current generation is the most inactive generation in history, so the main goal of this program is to make kids more active. We want to get kids off the couch, get them outside, and have them try different physical activities.
How did you come up with the idea?
One of our goals at MYSB is to teach the kids healthy habits. For example, we do healthy snacks each day and include physical activity often. One day, we (the staff) started talking about ways to get the kids more active here. We found out about the NFL Play 60 program on a website, and then the more we talked about it, the more fun it sounded. Now it’s taken on a life of its own.
What are some of the NFL Play 60 programs going on at the MYSB After School Program this month?
This week we’re doing a NFL-themed week, including activities such as the 40-yard dash, shuttle drills, long jump, push-ups, sit-ups, and more. We’re going to record how well the children do, and then during the last week we’re going to repeat the same activities to see if the kids are getting better.
We’re also planning to play Ultimate Frisbee and flag football. The idea is to get them to try new and different things.
What are the benefits of regular exercise for children and teens?
It’s been proven in many studies that kids who get regular exercise do better in school. They have more focus and attention when they sit down to do their homework or take tests. It also makes them well rounded as a person to be physically fit as well as mentally fit.
How has the program been received so far by the kids, and do you plan to repeat it again in the future?
We had 16 kids sign up already, but I think more like 15-20 will participate in the programs each day, possibly more. When kids see other kids doing something fun, they want to join too. This is our test run of the program to see if kids are interested and if it works. Usually you’re supposed to do the NFL Play 60 program during football season, so if this goes well we’ll sign up to do it in the fall. We’re hoping that next fall we can get a NFL player or some college football players to come in and hang out with the kids to get them inspired.