Many AFH athletes feel most passionate about helping children and teens become more physically active. AFH offers many volunteer opportunities for athletes who want to help kids become more active in school and after school programs. Active Schools has a network of more than 20,000 schools and provide opportunities to speak with students about the importance of daily physical activity and lead fitness activities. Marathon Kids is another AFH partner that engages students in weekly running goals with prizes awarded for each marathon (26.2 miles) completed. Lastly, AFH created its own physical activity program, Power Up! which engages students on a monthly basis throughout the school year.
Three years ago, Athletes for Hope, Retired NBA player and current NBA G-League Coach Awvee Storey, and KIPP DC partnered to launch the Power Up! Program, with the goal of encouraging and inspiring third and fourth grade students to exercise a minimum of 60 minutes per day. Our program is modeled from the Active Schools program design, which encourages schools to reduce childhood obesity and improve health outcomes as an “active school.” The Power UP DC program utilizes professional athletes to disseminate this message as retired and active athletes across many sports participate in the monthly program.
Over the past two years, the Power Up! program has now expanded to additional schools in Washington, D.C. and Houston, and this fall, five new schools in Baton Rouge, LA will become part of the program. Athletes such as Pro Soccer player Megan Oyster, professional runner Maddie Kopp, and professional softball player Nerissa Myers have played integral roles in making the Power Up! Program a great success over the last few years. Additionally, a large group of college athletes from LSU and Southern University will join the program this fall.
If you are looking for a regular volunteer opportunity and are interested in bringing the Power Up! Program to a school in your city, please let us know! We would be glad to help organize everything and work with the schools. A program guide and talking points will be provided to you before your involvement begins. Let’s expand this program across the country!