Commit to Health: Frequently Asked Questions
What is Commit to Health?
NRPA has teamed up with the Partnership for a Healthier America and committed to assist at least 2,000 park and recreation sites with pledges to achieve 19 healthy eating physical activity (HEPA) standards over the next several years. NRPA is excited to be a leader in this national movement to create healthy out-of-school time settings for the youth and families who participate in our programs.
How do you define a site?
A site is defined as a public park, recreation/community center, or park-led program at another community site implementing an out-of-school-time (afterschool and/or summer) enrichment program.
Does each site within an agency need to pledge individually?
Yes. While there may be many of the Commitment Standards that you prioritize and work on each year as an agency, there will likely also be differences, and we want to ensure each site has the information and resources necessary to implement the Standards in both ways (organizationally and individually).
Do I have to implement all 19 of the HEPA standards?
NRPA encourages your site to implement as many of the HEPA Standards as you can. We recognize that initiating and sustaining healthy changes takes time, and we’ll introduce you to a continuous quality improvement process to help you on this journey. A variety of planning tools, resources and professional development opportunities will be made available to you to help your site accomplish its goals.
What is the Alliance for a Healthier Generation and why/how is NRPA working with the Alliance?
Founded by the American Heart Association and the Clinton Foundation, the Alliance for a Healthier Generation works to reduce childhood obesity and empower kids to develop lifelong healthy habits. The nonprofit group works with schools, companies, community organizations, health care professionals and families to transform the conditions and systems to lead to healthier children. NRPA and the Alliance have partnered to provide park and recreation agencies with support to achieve the HEPA Standards over the next several years, and we are asking NRPA sites to utilize the Alliance’s online Inventory tool for Commitment tracking purposes.
What is the Alliance’s Healthy Out-of-School Time (HOST) Framework and Inventory?
The Framework is comprised of the National AfterSchool Association’s HEPA Standards plus a six step continuous quality improvement process to initiate and sustain change tied to program quality. The Alliance Inventory is part of the Framework and is an easy-to-use online tool that will help you track which HEPA Standards you have implemented and which ones you may select each year to work on as part of an Action Plan.
How do I access the online Inventory?
After you create an account you will be able to register your site(s) and access the online Inventory. After logging in, you will be asked to search for and join your site – and will be guided to build your site’s wellness team and then start your Inventory. Once you create an account, you will have access to online information and learning opportunities on topics related to implementing the HEPA Standards. When we are ready to ask you to complete the Inventory, you will be notified by email that you can start that part of the process.
Why do I have to complete this?
The Alliance’s Inventory is the data collection and implementation support tool that NRPA and PHA will be using to verify the progress of our organization’s Commitment. The Alliance will use the data collected in two ways: 1) Monitor data with NRPA to determine park and recreation site needs for resources and technical assistance, and 2) Deliver the data on an annual basis to PHA’s verification consultant so they can track NRPA’s progress towards the Commitment.
Besides the Inventory, what documentation could I be asked to submit and why?
At a few points throughout the Commitment period, you may be randomly selected to submit a copy of your meal and snack menu, staff handbook, parent/program handbook, program schedule, or similar documentation, to show the progress you are making. We highly encourage you to collect these items on a regular basis, as it helps ensure sustained progress of the changes implemented, especially with staffing changes or turnover.
Will we get assistance in achieving the Standards, and how?
NRPA is working closely with the Alliance to provide you access to online guidance, resources and tools via NRPA’s website and the Alliance’s Healthy Out-of-School Time (HOST) Initiative website.
Will the Commit the Health pledge and the partnership with the Alliance change our current health-related programming?
No. Please do not stop any current programming focused on healthy living. You can continue to use all current program resources. This partnership will provide you with even more resources and tools to strengthen your programming.
Where do I go with questions?
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions.