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Zachary Wise
Mrs. DeBock
English 4
10 November 2016
Effects of Youth Park and Recreation Programs/Centers on Kids
Youth park and recreation programs or centers do not just create a place where kids can
have fun, but they improve the overall community around them specifically the youth. Plenty of
studies and examples have shown how youth park and recreation programs or centers improve
the children around them. Every kid is different in their own way even if they share the same
issues so putting them in the same class will either work for one or the other or neither of them.
Some kids need help and guidance to fix or improve their situation whether it be social skills or
health issues or behavior problems. At risk or disaffected youth are kids and teens who live in a
bad environment and do not have the skills and values that help them in having a better future in
becoming good responsible members of society. When dealing with these kids or any kids things
have to appeal to their interests and behavioral programs or health programs/weight loss or
special classes will uninterest the children to where it does nothing for them or it can make the
situation worse. The solution to fix or improve these problems/issues and prevent them is youth
park and recreation programs or centers. Youth park and recreation programs or centers
positively affects the kids in the areas around them by improving kids behavioral problems,
promoting a healthy life for kids, and encouraging prosocial life for kids.
First of all, youth park and recreation programs or centers improve the kids behavioral
problems in the areas around them. If parents take kids to prevention programs or behavioral
places then kids will not listen and the programs or places will show to be mostly ineffective. On

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the other hand, park and recreation programs and centers can be used as bait to attract kids to
prevention programs and take up unproductive times when kids can get into trouble (Sprouse,
Klitzing, Parr 16). This is because recreation center and programs are full of fun and
entertainment so the prevention programs that are included in the the enjoyment do not even
seem boring or unlikeable. In a study about positive behavior support, or PBS, strategies, shows
a positive impact on the behavior of youth that participate in out of school, or OST, programs in
the community with the implementation of the positive behavior support strategies (McKevitt,
Dempsey, Ternus, Shriver 24). These strategies are effective and are the way that youth park and
recreation programs or centers improve the behavior of kids without the kids knowing about it.
In "Recreation As A Component Of The Community Youth Development System", the authors
state that recreation centers and park areas, where many delinquent and at risk youth hangs out,
can be used to deal with youth-related problems (Outley, Bocarro, Boleman 60). With kids,
especially the at risk and delinquent, hanging out by the park areas and recreation centers then
take advantage of it by using the centers and areas to deal with youth-related problems. Overall,
youth park and recreation programs or centers utilize that the youth hang out by centers or
programs by attracting them in, taking up their time, and using the positive behavior support
strategies all to improve and prevent the youth behavioral problems for the communities in the
areas around the programs or centers.
Secondly, youth park and recreation programs or center promote a healthy life for the
kids in the areas around them. For example, National Recreation and Park Associations, or
NRPA, Commit to Health initiative helps park and recreation agencies/programs/centers
encourage healthy behaviors during out-of school time, or OST (Hollar 57). These places give
kids exercise they need with different activities that are fun, so the kids do not feel like they are

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exercising. In a study about out of school time (OST) programs Kevin Roth, National Recreation
and Park Associations (NRPA) Vice President of Research, said, These programs also are an
important source for nutritious meals for many children who may otherwise go hungry. Fiftyseven percent of park and recreation agencies offering summer camp and before-school/after
school care also serve meals through USDA meal programs. This can include the National
School Lunch Program (NSLP), Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) and/or the Child and
Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) (16). Not only do these programs give kids the exercise,
but they also provide kids with nutritious food that kids need. Due to funding from the Walmart
Foundation, Commit to Health Out-of-School Time Grantees in 2015 accomplished: eighty
grantees that served twenty million meals, one million seven hundred thousand kids were
provided with healthy meals and snacks, one hundred fifty three thousand plus kids were
provided nutrition literacy and education, and seven hundred eighty two park and rec sites across
the country participated (Hollar 59). This shows that the programs provide kids with the
knowledge about healthy eating and living. So by not only teaching kids about healthy eating and
living, but giving kids exercise/physical activities and providing kids with healthy and nutritious
meals/snacks then the programs effectively promote a healthy life for the kids.
Lastly, youth park and recreation programs or centers encourage a prosocial life for the
kids in the areas around them. In a study it was said that physical activity programmes have
been identified as a potential strategy for improving social and emotional well-being in at-risk
youth, who have a prevalence of depression and low self-esteem (Lubans, Plotnikoff, Lubans
2). This shows that it is better and more effective to put kids with social/emotional issues into
physical activity programmes like a park and recreation program or center instead of putting
kids through therapy and medications which can be unpleasurable for the kids and family. For

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example, park and recreation programs or centers provide a place for children to positively
socialize with peers and to relieve stress (Sprouse, Klitzing, Parr 16). These places do not
directly force or pressure kids into socializing which can cause more or bigger problems, but
they just let kids socialize on their own pace. In addition, sports programmes they do provide
youth with an opportunity to develop prosocial behaviours through positive interactions with
others and achieve skill master (Lubans, Plotnikoff, Lubans 3). This shows how they indirectly
make kids socialize which is by giving them tasks/games/activities where the kids really have to
talk and interact with others to finish/complete the objectives.
Overall, youth park and recreation programs or centers improve kids behavioral
problems, promote a healthy life for kids, and encourage a prosocial life for kids which
positively affects the kids in the areas around them. By having a youth park and recreation
program or center in the area, kids are attracted to it and instead of doing bad things with their
time, they are at the recreation program or center doing other things. Communities with youth
park and recreations programs or centers are less likely to have behavior problems or delinquent
issues than communities that do not have them. Youth park and recreation programs or centers
help the kids in their areas become healthier by teaching and encouraging the kids about nutrition
and health. Also, the park and recreation programs or centers provide healthy snacks and lunches
for the children that are involved with the programs or centers. Because youth park and
recreation programs or centers promote and create a healthy life for kids, then children in that
area are more likely to be healthy than kids who do not have or go to youth park and recreation
programs or centers. Youth park and recreation programs or centers cause and make kids interact
with one another. Kids who are involved with youth park and recreation programs or centers are
more likely to be social and be able to work well with others than kids who do not go or are not

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involved with the programs or centers. Finally, kids who go to park and recreation programs or
centers are more likely to better their life than kids who do not go to park and recreation
programs or centers. Therefore, in conclusion youth communities that have youth park and
recreation programs or centers are more likely to be positive because park and recreation
programs or centers improve the children around them.

Work Cited
Hollar, Danielle. "Recreational Programs Rev It Up." Parks & Recreation 51.6 (2016): 56.
MasterFILE Premier. Web. 18 Oct. 2016.
Lubans, David R., Ron C. Plotnikoff, and Nicole J. Lubans. "Review: A Systematic Review Of
The Impact Of Physical Activity Programmes On Social And Emotional Well-Being In
At-Risk Youth." Child & Adolescent Mental Health 17.1 (2012): 2-13. Psychology and

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Behavioral Sciences Collection. Web. 18 Oct. 2016.


McKevitt, Brian C., et al. "Dealing With Behavior Problems: The Use Of Positive Behavior
Support Strategies In Summer Programs." Afterschool Matters 15 (2012): 16-25. ERIC.
Web. 18 Oct. 2016.
Outley, Corliss, Jason N. Bocarro, and Chris T. Boleman. "Recreation As A Component Of The
Community Youth Development System." New Directions For Youth Development
2011.130 (2011): 59-72. Professional Development Collection. Web. 18 Oct. 2016.
Roth, Kevin. "Park And Rec Out-Of-School Time Programs Provide Essential Support To
Communities." Parks & Recreation 51.9 (2016): 14. MasterFILE Premier. Web. 18 Oct.
2016.
Sprouse, Julie K. S.,Wolf Klitzing, and Mary Parr. "Youth At Risk: Recreation And Prevention."
Parks & Recreation 40.1 (2005): 16. MasterFILE Premier. Web. 18 Sandra Oct. 2016.