Jackson Bill to Ensure Healthy After School Programs for Kids Advances

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Source: State Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson

A bill by State Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson (D-Santa Barbara)to extend a program that encourages healthy eating and exercise in California’s after school programs passed out of the Assembly Education Committee on a bipartisan vote and now heads to Senate Appropriations Committee. The vote was 6-0.

SB 55 would extend the existing Distinguished After School Health (DASH) Recognition Program by five years from January 1, 2018 to January 1, 2023.  Created in 2014, when Governor Jerry Brown signed Jackson’s Senate Bill 949, the DASH Program recognizes after school programs that promote healthy diets and exercise. DASH-certified after school programs commit to providing 30 to 60 minutes of daily physical activity, limit television and computer screen time, and provide healthy foods and beverages.

Last year, California began recognizing after school programs that make healthy eating and exercise a priority. So far, close to 200 after school programs have received DASH certification, among them seven after school programs in Santa Barbara County.  

“DASH is about recognizing those after school programs that are making the voluntary yet vitally important effort to make children’s health a priority,” Jackson said. “Good eating and exercise habits, when established early, help prevent childhood obesity and help lead to a lifetime of good health. The DASH program provides parents with important information about after school programs so they can make the best and most informed choices for their children’s care.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 12.5 million children between two to nineteen years old nationwide are obese. California spends more public and private money on obesity than any other state, an estimated $21 billion a year. 

After school programs provide services to over 1.5 million children. Over 4,400 publicly funded after school programs exist in California.

Jackson represents the 19th Senate District, which includes all of Santa Barbara County and western Ventura County.

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