July is Park and Recreation Month!

Did you know…
• Between 2000 and 2012, more than 85 studies have been published that link parks to better physical and mental health.
• Living close to parks and other recreation facilities is consistently related to higher physical activity levels for both adults and youth.
• Children that have easy access to a playground are approximately five times more likely to have a healthy weight than children that do not have easy access to playgrounds.

Did you know that July is Park and Recreation Month? Neither did I until this popped up in my newsfeed.

ParkAndRecMonth

So I did a little research and here’s what I found out.

  • Since 1985, Americans have celebrated Park and Recreation Month in July to promote the importance of parks and recreation in health and wellness, conservation and social equity, and to recognize the thousands of park and recreation employees that maintain our nation’s local and community parks.
  • Through efforts by National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA), the U.S. House of Representatives passed an official resolution for Park and Recreation Month in 2009.
  • Park and recreation agencies across the country are recognizing the month with summer programs, events, contests, commemorations and celebrations.
  • Parks and recreation services are vital for our communities—from protecting open space and natural resources, to helping fight obesity, to providing activities and resources for all walks of life—Park and Recreation Month encourages everyone to reflect on the exponential value parks and recreation bring to communities.

This July NRPA is celebrating the super heroes and super powers of parks and recreation. Parks and recreation not only give us the opportunity to become our best selves, they also super power our communities economically, improve the environment and provide equitable public spaces for all.

In addition to visiting a park or recreation area during July, you can get involved in Park and Recreation Month by:

To encourage the discovery of parks and recreation’s super powers, NRPA is hosting a month-long selfie photo contest. From July 4-31, NRPA will issue weekly challenges for people to get out in their parks and recreation facilities and discover their super powers.

They will award weekly prizes to the photo with the most votes that demonstrates the weekly challenge. The contest can be entered via Facebook or by uploading a photo to Twitter and Instagram using #SuperJuly and #SuperParkSelfie. Visit www.nrpa.org/july for the official rules and criteria.

NRPA is also recognizing three outstanding “super heroes” of parks and recreation as well as featuring the winning photo of their Park and Recreation Month Cover Contest this July in Parks & Recreation magazine.

You can learn more about Park and Recreation Month and find participating park and recreation areas in your community by visiting: www.nrpa.org/July.

Join the conversation on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram with the hashtag #SuperJuly.

Wednesday, July 6, 6:30pm – 7:30pm, Ted Gatsas Speaking at Salem GOP Meeting, Kelley Library, 234 Main St, Salem, NH 03079

Click here to see more events in New Hampshire!


Public Opinion Shows Voters Strongly Favor Investments in Children & Youth

A new poll commissioned by the Children’s Leadership Council finds that a strong majority (63 percent) of Americans want more funding for programs that support children and young people. More than three in five adults strongly favor expanded spending to improve education, health and nutrition.

In this election year, most adults say they are more likely to vote for a candidate who commits to investing in effective child and youth well-being policies, according to a new national poll conducted by Hart Research on behalf of the Children’s Leadership Council. More than three in five adults representing every age, race, income and education level across the country, want the next president and Congress to spend more on nutrition, health and education programs for children, according to the poll findings. By overwhelming margins, Americans say the nation’s children would be better off if government did more to support parents and families, and, that they would be more likely to vote for a candidate who would commit to policies that advance children’s well-being, if elected. This is especially true of Millennials, regardless of party.

“Support for the well-being of our nation’s children has no boundaries,” said Randi Schmidt, executive director of the Children’s Leadership Council. “Adults of all stripes, and from every corner of the country, are sending a strong message to presidential candidates and to Congress that our children must come first.”

Those surveyed responded with particular enthusiasm to candidate commitments related to reducing child abuse, child poverty and hunger. These are followed by policies related to child health care coverage, college affordability, child care, and education.

Millennials overwhelmingly support programs aimed at ensuring children’s well-being, according to the poll findings, with three in four millennials (74 percent) saying there should be greater investments in such programs.

Key findings:

Overall government investments in child well-being

  • Support for greater government investments in children is particularly high among Americans age 18- 34 (74%), African Americans (75%), Hispanics (74%), and parents with children under age 18 (71%).
  • Eighty-three percent of Democrats and more than half (58%) of Republicans say the next president and Congress should invest more when it comes to meeting the needs of children.
  • Parents of children under age 18 say that America’s children would be better off if government did more to support parents and families by making education, child care, nutrition and children’s healthcare more affordable. The majority of adults, both parents and nonparents, support this statement, with 75 percent of women, and 64 percent of men responding affirmatively.

Child Poverty and Hunger

  • Both parents and nonparents equally (80%) say they are more likely to support a candidate who prioritizes reducing child poverty and hunger.

Child Abuse and Family Violence

  • Seventy-five percent of all adults surveyed say reducing child abuse and family violence is an especially compelling reason to support a candidate. Among Republicans, this position resonates particularly well, with more than 2 in 3 (67%) of Republicans saying they would be more likely to vote for a candidate who stakes out such a position.

Children’s Healthcare

  • Children’s health care is the top issue among African Americans, with 83 percent of respondents saying they would be more likely to support candidates who commit to preserving and improving health care coverage. Sixty-seven percent of all adults also would be more likely to support a candidate who makes children’s health care a priority.

Affordable College

  • 76 percent of parents with children under 18 say they are more likely to vote for a candidate who commits to making college more affordable, making it the second-most compelling reason among the policies tested, to support a candidate.
  • 66 percent of all respondents say they are more likely to support a candidate who focuses on making college more affordable, while 82 percent of African Americans and 81 percent of Democrats say such a commitment would draw their support.
  • For unmarried moms, parents over 35, college-educated parents, and those making more $75,000 a year, making college affordability a priority is the top reason to support a candidate.
  • Across all geographic and democratic groups, millennials are even more likely than older adults to support an increase in investment for children and youth.

Child Care Assistance and Early Childhood Education

  • Expanding child care assistance and early childhood education garners the most support from African Americans (77%) and Democrats (73%). Both of these groups are most likely to be compelled to vote for a candidate who commits to other learning opportunities, including expanding afterschool programs and summer learning opportunities.

Hart Research conducted the online survey between March 31 – April 6 to understand national sentiment regarding public investments in children and the role of government in improving child well-being. There were 2,050 adults, including 595 parents of children under the age of 18 from across the country, who participated in the survey.

The Children’s Leadership Council is a coalition of leading policy and advocacy organizations, (which includes Every Child Matters), that are working every day to improve the health, education and well-being of children and youth in order to prepare them for school, work, and life.

For more information, visit the Children’s Leadership Council at childrensleadershipcouncil.org.