Monday, January 30, 2017

"Let's Move Boise" partners support new afterschool program at Garfield Elementary School

Contact: Bonnie Shelton
Communications Manager, Parks and Recreation Department
(208) 789-0211 or

A new afterschool program at Boise’s Garfield Elementary School is engaging kids in physical activity and nutrition programs, thanks to a partnership with “Let’s Move Boise” and other community partners.

Established in 2011, Let’s Move Boise is a local extension of the national Let’s Move initiative established in 2008. Since its inception, Let’s Move Boise has organized many successful programs focusing on physical activity and nutrition including walking challenges, school garden programs, child care workshops and a recipe contest with Boise School District. In 2015, the Let’s Move Boise steering committee decided on a new direction: creating and implementing a Let’s Move Community Center focused on supporting nutrition programs and increasing physical activity opportunities for at-risk youth.

The new program provides free afterschool activities for children in grades 1-6 at Garfield, a Title-1 and Community Eligibility Provision school which serves breakfast, lunch, and supper to all students at no cost.

Boise Parks & Recreation, the Boise Schools Education Foundation, St. Luke’s, United Way of Treasure Valley and Blue Cross of Idaho Foundation for Health all provided funding to launch the new program.

Beginning in September of 2016, Let’s Move Boise activities included nutrition classes provided by University of Idaho 4-H and the Boise School District nutrition staff, gardening lessons from the Boise Urban Garden School, a youth sports league through Boise Parks & Recreation, ecological activities by the Foothills Learning Center, and hula hoop dance lessons from community volunteers.

Community partners will continue to provide different activities throughout the spring semester. These partners include St. Luke’s Fit One Kids and Safe Kids, Girls on the Run, Safe Routes to School, Boise Bike Project, First Tee of Idaho, the Idaho Tennis Association, the Idaho Food Bank, and Boise State University Service Learning.

“Our goal is to provide a variety of fun, free supervised out-of-school activities for kids at an accessible site in their neighborhoods,” said Karen Hostetter, youth recreation coordinator for Boise Parks & Recreation.

Approximately 60 children per day are attending the Garfield afterschool program, operated by Boise Parks & Recreation in partnership with the Boise School District. To assist with the project, Boise Parks and Recreation partnered with AmeriCorps, a federal nonprofit civil society program that engages adults in public service work focusing on helping others and meeting critical needs in a community. Jeremy Overson, a first-year AmeriCorps volunteer, is the site coordinator at Garfield.

The new program is the seventh afterschool site operated by Boise Parks & Recreation at Boise School District’s Title-1 schools.