This project aims to increase physical activity in children and youth by enriching after school programs with physical activity through the development and implementation of active after-school guidelines and by providing support through a community of practice.
How can after-school programs help children and youth in Alberta meet the Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines?
The after school time period is a particularly important time in children and youths’ lives. These after school hours are often thought of as a critical time where children and youth can be without adult supervision due to the school and work day times often not lining up. By providing an opportunity for children and youth to engage in physically active and supportive after-school programs there is a great opportunity to positively impact their health, well-being and safety.
The Alberta Active After School Committee, chaired by Ever Active Schools, consists of leaders across the province in the after school time period, including municipal and provincial representatives as well as representatives from some of the larger child and youth program groups across the province (Boys and Girls Club, YMCA, etc.).
In fall 2016, the Recreation and Physical Activity Division of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism awarded a Macro Grant to Ever Active Schools to support this project. The purpose of the project was to increase physical activity in children and youth by enriching after-school programs with physical activity through the development and implementation of active after school guidelines and provision of support through a community of practice.
The committee drafted the updated Provincial Activity Guidelines for After-School Programs in Alberta, as well as an Implementation Guide to support. Once these were drafted they were piloted in four after-school programs across the province:
WizKid’s AfterSchool Program Brooks Alberta
Groovy Kids Club High Level Alberta
OLR Kidz Club Sylvan Lake Alberta
Boys and Girls Clubs of the Foothills After School Program Black Diamond Alberta
Since piloting the guidelines the committee has drafted an implementation plan and will continue to support after-school programs through a variety of ways, including a quarterly e-newsletter highlighting resources and supports available to after-school programs in Alberta.
A detailed description of the findings from the pilot of the Provincial Physical Activity Guidelines can be found in the below final report.
Some highlights include:
Overall the pilot sites saw an increase in physical activity with all participants
An increase in girls physical activity
Highlighted further supports needed in the implementation of the Guidelines, including the need for more hands on professional development for after-school program leaders
Please note that these documents were created by Ever Active Schools as a resource to guide physical activity in after-school programs in Alberta. Funding support was provided by the Tourism and Recreation Division (formerly Recreation and Physical Activity Division) of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism.
Thank-you to the following funders and participants in the Alberta Active After School project:
Alberta Ministry of Culture and Tourism - Tourism and Recreation Division (formerly, Recreation and Physical Activity Division)
WizKidz After School Program, Brooks Alberta
Groovy Kids Club, High Level Alberta
OLR Kids Club, Sylvan Lake Alberta
Boys and Girls Clubs of the Foothills After School Program, Black Diamond Alberta