Healthy Out-of-School Time
Healthy Environments for All On-Campus Activities
What happens on school grounds—before, during and after school—can have a big impact on a child’s health and learning. Out-of-School Time programs are any before-school and after-school programs held on a school campus or facility. These offerings can be academic, specialty (focusing on academic, athletic or artistic enrichment), or a multipurpose program that provide a variety of activities like the Boys & Girls Club or YMCA.
Any time a child is on campus, it is important to ensure a healthy school environment. This includes providing nutritious and appealing foods and beverages, consistent and accurate messages about nutrition, and ways to practice healthy eating and physical activity. Connecting with Out-of-School Time programs about making healthy snacks and opportunities for physical activity available, can ensure students have a consistent environment of wellness.
Connecting Schools with Out-of-School Time Programs
- Inviting program leaders to join the School Health Advisory Councils at both the school and district level, providing them an opportunity to help shape wellness initiatives and buy-into their implementation for a holistic approach to creating a school culture of wellness.
- Reviewing local wellness policies to see how they address physical activity and nutrition before or after school.
Providing Nutritious Meals and Snacks
All Out-of-School Time programs should follow the nutrition standards provided by Food Research & Action Center’s Afterschool Meal Program and Summer Food Service Program to improve children’s diet quality and food security, which supports their physical and mental health as well as their ability to learn.
Get Kids Moving
Physical activity can improve concentration and memory. Before-school and after-school programs, as well as physical activity clubs and sports teams, are key components of a Comprehensive School Physical Activity Program. Having a comprehensive physical activity program helps schools ensure they are using Out-of-School Time to promote physical wellness and are encouraging students to identify activities they enjoy and might engage in long-term.