Op-Ed | March 30, 2016

After-School Programs Worth the Investment

Former U.S. Olympian swimmer Gary Hall Jr. advocates for after-school programs that keep kids fit and healthy

Champions member Gary Hall, Jr. is an American swimmer who won 10 Olympic medals representing Team USA. In this op-ed published by the Santa Barbara Independent, Hall promotes the benefits of physical activity for kids, and the need for more after-school programs to prevent childhood obesity, help working parents, and keep kids healthy. He also voices support for Proposition 49 in California—which supports over 4,000 programs statewide and 400,000 elementary and middle-school students each day—through the After School Education and Safety (ASES) program, whose funding has remained static for over a decade.

After-school programs are win-win for parents, their children, our healthcare system, and society as a whole.

Gary Hall, Jr., 10-time Olympian medalist for Team USA

To do away with our culture of inactivity and promote a culture of health, Hall says we need to encourage children to make physical activities a part of their regular routine, just like washing their hands and brushing their teeth. Increasing funding levels for ASES should be a top priority. Shorting kids the opportunity to be physically active, healthy and happy is woefully short-sighted.