Youthlinks, a Rockland area program serving middle and high school students, has been notified that it has attained Gold Status in the Let’s Go! 5-2-1-0 Program. Let’s Go! is a nationally recognized childhood obesity prevention program that promotes the increase of physical activity and healthy eating for youth.
Gold status requires that the program implement all five Let’s Go! priority strategies, have them in written policy format, and enforce these policies.
As a Let’s Go! 5-2-1-0 site, Youthlinks is dedicated to carrying out these strategies by providing healthy choices for snacks and celebrations, providing water and low-fat milk instead of sugary beverages, providing opportunities for daily physical activity, and engaging with community partners to help support and promote a healthy lifestyle for youth. Youthlinks collaborates with RSU 13, the Good Tern Co-op, Cooking Matters, a program of the Knox County Community Health Coalition (KCCHS) which is funded by the Good Shepard Food Bank, University of Maine Cooperative Extension Program, and Foo Corps, to provide consistently healthy lifestyle choices for students in middle and high school.
For example, the Student Garden Army, summer camp, and other programs offered by Youthlinks for 11- 17 year olds emphasize the tenets of 5-2-1-0 which signify eating at least 5 vegetables and fruits per day, 2 hours or less of recreational screen time, 1 hour or more of physical activity, and 0 sugary beverages. At Youthlinks, students have opportunities to grow, harvest, and eat their own garden produce. Many students try vegetables that are new to them and learn they like them and find out ways through interactive cooking demonstrations to incorporate more healthy ingredients into their meals. They bring this knowledge home with them to their families and it adds to their store of knowledge needed to become a healthier adolescent and adult.
Youthlinks is a program of Broadreach Family & Community Services. For more information on Youthlinks please call (207) 594-2221 or visit the following website: http://www.youthlinksonline.org/ or for information about Broadreach Family & Community Services the website is www.broadreachmaine.org .