After just four years, the NPAP is having a positive impact around the nation. For the first time, individuals and organizations will be recognized for their exceptional efforts in implementing the NPAP and setting a standard for achievement. The new Champions Awards shine a national spotlight on those who have made a significant commitment to adopting plan strategies and have shown progress toward improving physical activity for their target audience.
Organizations being recognized with the new Champions Award are:
Space to Grow- Healthy Schools Campaign and Openlands (Chicago, IL)
Space to Grow is an innovative program forged by a group of partners to transform Chicago’s underused and outdated schoolyards into vibrant outdoor spaces that benefit students, communities and the environment. Public agency partners such as Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago, City of Chicago Department of Water Management and Chicago Public Schools provide capital funding for schoolyard improvements. In its pilot year, Space to Grow renovated four schoolyards to create opportunities for entire communities to learn, grow and play outdoors, and to support the Chicago Public Schools’ efforts to promote health and wellness and reinstate recess and daily physical education.
Get Fit Kauai (Kauai County, HI)
Get Fit Kauai is the Nutrition and Physical Activity Coalition of Kauai County. Since establishing its Built Environment and Safe Routes to School Task Forces, Get Fit Kauai has made tremendous strides in promoting physical activity through policy change, programs, and projects. The coalition has led successful advocacy efforts for three major policy changes, including a county Complete Streets resolution (2010), a statewide Safe Routes to School Bill that allocates funding from speeding traffic violations to counties for Safe Routes to School efforts (2012), and a county ordinance change to the subdivision code that requires sidewalks and shorter block lengths (2013). The coalition organized monthly Walk to School Days, with a total of 2,730 children and 743 adults across five schools participating last year.
Seguin ISD Student Health Advisory Council (Seguin, TX)
The organization was initially designed after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Coordinated School Health model with a primary emphasis on promoting physical activity to students, faculty/staff, and the community. The model now primarily focuses on utilizing and implementing strategies and tactics within the education sector of the National Physical Activity Plan (NPAP) and has achieved a number of outcomes, including: Campus walking trails for nine schools constructed with improved connectivity/assess to city parks, improved FITNESSGRAM scores, named best District Student Health Advisory Council in Texas, and a bond election that resulted in $88.3 million of funding for new school and community improvements based on SHAC recommendations.
The congress will also recognize Dr. Kenneth E. Powell with its first-ever Honor Award for lifetime achievement. For more than 40 years, Dr. Ken Powell has been an instrumental force in identifying physical inactivity as a public health issue and in advancing work and initiatives in public health and science on this topic. He worked in several positions at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and his leadership was responsible for initiating much of the essential physical activity and public health work there. Dr. Powell was instrumental in creating attention at CDC for a Physical Activity and Health Branch. The Physical Activity and Health Branch has made many contributions to advancing the field of physical activity and health, including hosting the first International Congress on Physical Activity and Health in 2006.
Dr. Powell’s most recent publication in September 2014 on “The Evolution of the Physical Activity Field” is the lead article in the issue of Journal of Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance that is focused on the National Physical Activity Plan.