The Enrichment Zone

Looking to help youth get on a pathway to living a healthy, active lifestyle? The National Afterschool Association and the Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation are providing the “Enrichment Zone,” a free curriculum for afterschool programs focused on promoting energy balance to help.

The Enrichment Zone resources explain to students the concepts of “Energy In” (food and nutrition-related activities) and “Energy Out” (physical activities). It focuses particularly on the “Energy Out” aspect to help afterschool programs guarantee students get the daily sixty minutes of physical activity as recommended by the NAA HEPA (Healthy Eating and Physical Activity) Standards.

The Enrichment Zone was created to be used by afterschool professionals within their existing programs. The curriculum offers fun, playful, motivational, and age-appropriate activities designed specifically for grades pre-K to five. Although these activities are educational and nutrition- or fitness-oriented, they are more informal than a school-day lesson plan. Many encourage free-form outdoor play and teach fun games that incorporate physical activity and can be easily replicated at home.

Physical activities such as hopscotch and Mother, May I are free, and fun for all ages. The activities also include suggestions for affordable, healthful snacks that come with a lesson. In one lesson, students taste test a variety of beans, while learning about the vegetable’s benefits. The activity could easily be repeated with dozens of other fruit and veggie varieties. In another snack activity, students learn about geometry by constructing shapes out of toothpicks, grapes, and cheese cubes.

The lesson plans are detailed, informative, and easy to follow. They can be used as a full program, with forty-five-minute sessions a few times a week for six weeks, or by using the individual pieces of the curriculum that best fit the needs of youth. It’s intended to be flexible and customizable for afterschool programs of all kinds.

Be sure to check out the Enrichment Zone curriculum for grades K-2 and 3-5, and visit the Together Counts website for more information, the complete curriculum, bonus activities, and certificates of achievement for when your students finish the program. Click here for more information about the NAA HEPA Standards.

Target Audience: Programs that serve K-4, Programs that serve Grades 5-8, Programs that serve Grades 9-12, Line Staff, Program Manager/Coordinator, Program Director/Leadership, Other
Which Standards does this meet? I. Safe and Healthy Environments, III. Intentional Programming and Activities
Author/Developer: National Afterschool Association & Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation
URL: Learn More / Download Resource