FLOWERY BRANCH, GA –The Atlanta Falcons and the Atlanta Falcons Youth Foundation are launching a pioneering social networking campaign to find innovative ideas to engage K-12 students in physical activity during the school day.
Coined, "60 Ways to Play 60," the campaign will mobilize innovators from around the world to identify at least 60 creative practices that can help schools reverse Georgia's childhood obesity crisis.
"60 Ways to Play 60" is delivered in partnership with Ashoka's Changemakers, a global online community of social entrepreneurs and activists. The campaign advances the National Football League's "Play 60" message, which encourages every child to be active at least 60 minutes a day.
"Giving Georgia's kids access to physical fitness activities is critical to reducing childhood obesity in our state," Falcons Owner Arthur M. Blank said. "The Atlanta Falcons Youth Foundation is keenly focused on this issue, and we think this new campaign will further our efforts in a meaningful way."
The "60 Ways to Play 60" campaign on Changemakers.com seeks new or early-stage innovative ideas for schools to adopt. The campaign especially encourages entries from kids, but also from parents, teachers, school administrators, coaches, community program administrators and others.
The Atlanta Falcons Youth Foundation has pledged $1,000 to the innovation drawing the most votes of support from the online Changemakers community, and the Foundation expects to consider grants to help Georgia schools adopt the strongest ideas. Representatives from the first 20 Georgia schools submitting ideas will be invited to a Falcons game during the 2009 season, courtesy of NetMOVE, the official mover of the Atlanta Falcons.
Changemakers will launch the "60 Ways to Play 60" Changemakers web site on Thursday, September 10, 2009. Visit www.changemakers.com/ActiveYouth to learn about the contest, how to vote for ideas, or to submit new ideas.
The web site will accept online submissions from September 23, 2009, through November 4, 2009. Submissions will remain on the web, allowing for extended follow-up and promotion to encourage the adoption of promising innovations.
"60 Ways to Play 60" responds to a critical need in Georgia, as schools look for ways to meet the physical education standards Governor Perdue signed into law this year.
A recent study shows nearly nine in ten Georgia schools fail to deliver the minimum of 90 contact hours of physical education per year (roughly 30 minutes a day) for grades K-5. Nearly one in three Georgia kids is overweight or obese. About half of all Georgia students report getting less physical activity than is recommended.
About Ashoka and Changemakers: Founded in 1981, Ashoka is a nonprofit working globally to promote the work of social entrepreneurs. Ashoka created Changemakers in 2004 to help identify and spread innovative solutions to social problems. To date, Changemakers has run 30 competitions attracting thousands of solutions; $30 million has been invested to adopt and implement ideas identified through the competitions. The web site receives more than 150,000
unique visitors a month. Changemakers clients include Nike, Staples, Rockefeller Foundation, Gates Foundation, Hewlett Foundation, and National Geographic.
About AFYF: Investing across Georgia, the Atlanta Falcons Youth Foundation helps nonprofit organizations reduce childhood obesity and improve youth fitness. The foundation was established in 1985 to serve as the philanthropic arm of the Atlanta Falcons. Since Arthur Blank acquired the Atlanta Falcons in 2002, the foundation has grown to be the largest owner- funded foundation in the National Football League, providing more than $16 million in grants to nonprofit organizations across the state of Georgia.
The Foundation has invested intensively in four high-need areas in Atlanta and in Gainesville, GA, designating target neighborhoods as Falcons Fitness Zones. The Foundation reaches more than 10,000 students at Fitness Zone sites year-round, helping them burn off more than 40,000 pounds of body fat.