The Säjai Foundation Overview and Mission <ul><li>The Säjai Foundation is a Minnesota-based nonprofit organization created by Barbara King that works to combat childhood obesity and to inspire wise health and nutrition choices. </li></ul><ul><li>The Foundation has a developed a family of programs called Wise Kids to teach children about healthy living and to encourage them to be actively involved in the outdoors. </li></ul>
Wise Kids: Outdoors <ul><li>The Wise Kids Outdoors Program is an evaluated after-school and summer camp program which offers children an opportunity to explore the world of nature while emphasizing the importance of eating right and being physically active. </li></ul><ul><li>Missions teach them about critters and bugs, the weather, how to safely explore in the outdoors, stewardship principles of reducing and reusing, and caring for the earth. </li></ul><ul><li>The Wise Kids Outdoors program was implemented in four recreation programs offered by the Saint Paul Parks and Recreation Department in Saint Paul, Minnesota, and three recreation programs provided by San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department in San Francisco, California. </li></ul>
Inputs <ul><li>The Säjai Foundation is guided by the expertise of an eight-member board of directors who ensure focus and clarity of mission in reaching children in an effective, meaningful way and in maximizing Foundation resources. </li></ul><ul><li>We receive donations and grants that fund our Wise Kids and Wise Kids Outdoors programs. Donations are used to impact children’s lives across the country and to continue our work. </li></ul><ul><li>Gregarious professionals are encouraged to volunteer their time and talents, as we are always looking for volunteers to help with research projects, beta site testing, and more. </li></ul>
Outputs <ul><li>Volunteers will learn to work more efficiently and cooperatively with children </li></ul><ul><li>Enrollment in the program across both cities included 175 youth ages 6 to 12 from diverse socio-economic and cultural backgrounds. </li></ul>
Process <ul><li>Children go on a 20-mission evaluated after-school and summer-camp program developed by the Sajai Foundation. </li></ul><ul><li>Each Wise Kids Outdoors session sends them on outdoor adventure missions, guided by trained staff. </li></ul><ul><li>The program is be divided into three learning tracks: Core Stewardship, Adventure and Outdoor Skills, and Environmental Education. </li></ul>
Outcomes <ul><li>Better understanding of how humans and nature need to live in balance to be healthy. </li></ul><ul><li>Children will get outside and begin to reconnect to the world around them. </li></ul><ul><li>Children should glean from the 20-mission program the central concept of Energy Balance (Calories in should equal calories out). </li></ul>
Community Need <ul><li>Youths are increasingly afflicted with NDD or “nature deficit disorder;” the result of children and adolescents not having as many direct experiences with nature. </li></ul><ul><li>From the years 1997 to 2003, there was a 50% drop in the number of youth who participated in outdoor activities, including walking, hiking, and fishing. </li></ul><ul><li>Furthermore, only six percent of children age 9 to 13 plays outside on their own! </li></ul><ul><li>The resulting disconnect from the natural world is contributing to a diminished appreciation for the environment, and producing ill effects on the minds and bodies of children and adolescents. </li></ul>
Community Need (Continued) <ul><li>There is growing evidence indicating that there are healthy outcomes associated with unstructured play in nature, and that although children only play outdoors for limited amounts of time, they enjoy playing outdoors, and given more choice and opportunity, many would play outdoors more than they currently do. </li></ul><ul><li>This program, in turn, will serve as an integral vehicle for developing and enhancing nature appreciation in youth. </li></ul>
Link to Critical Reading, Thinking, and Action <ul><li>Children must utilize their critical reading skills to capture nature’s role in an industrialized world. </li></ul><ul><li>Then, they must employ their critical thinking skills to assess how maintaining a healthy environment will undergird the development of a healthy body. </li></ul><ul><li>Contrarily, Children must investigate the dangers of environmental destruction and how this process encumbers human prosperity and development. </li></ul>
Link to Critical Reading, Thinking, and Action (Continued) <ul><li>Children will engage their critical action skills to formulate a schedule that incorporates and evenly distributes time for school and exercise. </li></ul><ul><li>Holistically, the program challenges the board of directors to experiment and evaluate what missions are effective and others that are not. </li></ul>
Just-Think Foundation Overview <ul><li>Just think teaches children to lead HEALTHY, responsible, independent lives in a culture highly-impacted by the media. </li></ul><ul><li>Just-Think’s Peer Health and Media Education (PHAME) program was designed as a way to use media as an exciting vehicle to engage youth in the subject of health and to stimulate positive choices around youth health issues with the belief in the power of role modeling and the effectiveness of peer to peer education. </li></ul>
Although the programs utilize different teaching methods and tackle contrasting subjects, they both pursue the same goal and methodology; Fostering critical thinking to become healthier.
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