Preventive Health Strategies, a nonprofit, created ECHO Kids to combat upward spiraling childhood obesity and diabetes rates. We believe regular exercise is one way to combat the trend. And if that regular exercise program turns out to be fun for kids…that’s so much better!
ECHO Kids (Educating Children for Healthier Outcomes) program started in the schoolyard of one Sioux Falls elementary school and eventually attracted the attention of the Sioux Falls Y®. No matter where the kids meet, the emphasis is the same: developing healthy habits to last a lifetime.
With watchful and enthusiastic supervision from their trainers, elementary students develop skills and learn about nutrition. “Five carrots provide you enough energy to walk a mile!” “Water is better for you than carbonated drinks!” One dad reports, “We love it that this advice is coming from you and not from us! He’s paying attention because you’re his coaches.”
ECHO Kids trainers bear witness as children increase their physical competency. Becoming physically fit makes a kid stand taller while climbing higher or running faster. Coach Amy Peterson remembers, “At the beginning of this past summer, there were kids who couldn’t run a single lap. By the time school started, they were volunteering to run the mile in our ECHO Kids Olympics!”
ECHO Kids offer this innovative fitness and health program to more children. Enrollment is ongoing.