Active kids – that is the goal with new equipment purchases at recreation departments around Aroostook County thanks to ACAP’s 5-2-1-0, Let’s Go! program and the support of Ronald McDonald House Charities of Maine.

Earlier this year, ACAP’s 5-2-1-0, Let’s Go! program received $7,755 in grant funding from Ronald McDonald House Charities of Maine to purchase equipment such as soccer balls and nets, softballs and baseballs, obstacle course pieces, and similar items to distribute to recreation departments in Aroostook County that chose to participate.

“The grant funding has made it possible for recreation centers across Aroostook County to improve their physical activity equipment and provide better recreation activities,” said 5-2-1-0, Let’s Go! Community Educator Katie Putnam. “Recreation centers sometimes don’t get the credit they deserve for keeping our kids active every day in the summer months. They are a strong component in our community. Keeping our kids healthy and entertained daily is hard work, and with this grant funding, I hope they can see how much they are appreciated.”

In all, 12 of 17 county recreation departments chose to participate in the program, each receiving just under $700 in equipment purchases. Each participating recreation department also signed tobacco policies through a partnership with ACAP’s Tobacco Use Prevention program, furthering their commitments to health in Aroostook County youth. Participating recreation centers included: Houlton, Presque Isle, Madawaska, Mars Hill, Limestone, Caribou, Easton, Ashland, Fort Fairfield, Van Buren, Washburn and Island Falls.

On Wednesday, July 11, at 9:30 a.m., members of ACAP staff and Heidi Abbotoni, chair of the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Maine grant committee, met with staff at the Houlton Recreation Center for a formal presentation of the equipment.

“We are very happy that ACAP was one of our grant recipients and that so many local recreation departments were able to receive this much needed equipment.  By granting money to non-profits that share our mission of healthy children and healthy families, we are able to have a greater impact,” said Abbotoni.

ACAP frequently works with childcare centers and County schools to reduce childhood obesity and improve upon development of healthier lifestyle habits.

Let’s Go! is a nationally recognized childhood obesity prevention program implemented throughout Maine and in a few communities in neighboring states. 5-2-1-0, five or more fruits and vegetables, two hours or less of recreational screen time, one hour or more of physical activity, and zero sugary drinks (more water), was developed as the foundation for change.

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