Existing Programs, Curriculum, and Lessons

  • 4H/VA Cooperative Extension: 4-H is the youth development education program of Virginia Cooperative Extension. Through 4-H, young people are encouraged to participate in a variety of activities that emphasize 4-H's "learning by doing" philosophy of youth development. 4-H and the VA Cooperative Extension partner with afterschool programs by infusing curricula and training staff and volunteers of afterschool programs. Programs available vary by county and educational region, thus sites should contact their local 4-H office. Where nutrition programs are available, 4-H/VA Cooperative Extension offers three different programs: Organwise Guys ( grades K-2), Health Weights for Healthy Kids (grades 3-7), Teen Cuisine (grades 6-12). There are also resources for school and community gardens. (cooking, nutrition, gardening, K-12)
  • Active Academics is a resource that provides physical activity ideas that can be integrated into academic content areas. Elementary and middle-school aged youth grade, get "up and moving" while still engaged in the academic learning process.
  • Afterschool Energizers: Lesson Plans developed for North Carolina 21st Century Community Center Learning Programs that are designed to enhance life skills, academic skills, and character development through physical activity.
  • Diamond Dreams: Offers baseball clinics and nutritional outreach to the youth communities of the DC metropolitan area. (physical fitness, baseball, K-12)
  • Edible Education: The Edible Education is a Virginia-based hands-on curriculum to give K-8th-grade students confidence in the kitchen. Classes are one hour and are offered in five or six-week sessions in which students prepare three to four recipes per class. (cooking, nutrition, elementary school, middle school) 

Substance Abuse Prevention

Caron Treatment Centers: Caron offers a library of digital resources that addresses substance use and prevention among teens. This course catalog outlines the available programs and their structure and this FAQ document outlines some of the logistics, such as cost (it's free!), audience outcomes and more. We recommend the course, Impact of Substance Abuse Disorders on the Family which was developed in partnership with the Boys and Girls Club of America, as well as Vaping and Marijuana Trends Among Teens, which was developed in partnership with Communities in Schools.

  • FDA: Free food safety and nutrition curriculum for middle and high school students. Lessons include Bacteria and Food Borne Pathogens, The Science of Cooking a Hamburger, Serving Size and Calories, Meal Planning and more. (cooking, nutrition, middle school, high school)
  • Girls on the Run: Elementary and middle school-aged girls learn about the mind-body connection in this program which combines physical activity with social-emotional learning and life-skills. The program culminates in a 5K with other Girls on the Run groups. (running, elementary school, middle school, social-emotional, girls)
  • Pitch, Hit and Run: From Major League Baseball, Pitch, Hit and Run allows schools and community groups to host a free, local, one-day baseball/softball skills competition for youth ages 7-14. An administrative kit is provided and the competition is free of charge for participants and hosts. Participants have the opportunity to advance through four levels of competition including Locals, Sectionals, Team Championships and the National Finals during MLB All-Star Week. (physical fitness, baseball, softball, project-based learning, elementary school, middle school)
  • Playworks: In the game library, explore hundreds of games by group size, available space and equipment, appropriate ages, and developmental skills. Playworks games are designed to keep all kids playing with ground-rules that keep games manageable for staff, skill-building variations on students’ favorite sports, and other inclusive adaptations.

Resources for Popular Clubs or Programs

  • Action for Healthy Kids: Action for Healthy Kids is a network of parents, students, teachers, health experts and professional organizations with the shared mission of mobilizing school professionals, families and communities to take actions that lead to healthy eating, physical activity and healthier schools where kids thrive. They offer tools for implementing Intramural Sports in an afterschool setting, as well as guides for school wellness programs. (intramurals, sports, physical fitness, K-12)
  • Action Plan for a Healthy Virginia: This guide is focuses on creating healthy environments in Virginia and to helps advocate for and implement health programs. Itis designed for various environments including schools and community-based organizations.
  • Alliance For A Healthier Generation: In their publication, Healthy Out-of-School Time Framework: Standards and Best Practices for Developing Healthy Out-of-School Time Environments, The Alliance for a Healthier Generation maps out 11 standards for OST programs to positively impact healthy eating and physical activity habits of participants and staff. Associated tools and resources incorporate positive youth development practices that emphasize the importance of youth engagement, youth voice and youth-adult partnerships to positively affect health outcomes in school-age youth. Their Smart Foods Planner website is a one-stop shop for planning healthy snacks, meals and getting nutrition for food. Here you can browse products by category, ingredient, meal type. Find kid-friendly recipes for your school or site and view meal plans.
  • My Plate: Kids Place: From the USDA, browse games, videos, songs and activities and more, centered around healthy eating and the USDA dietary recommendations.