ALBANY, N.Y. June 15, 2010 — New York State United Teachers and the Tri-City ValleyCats are teaming up this season to fight childhood obesity and help children lead healthier lifestyles.
Beginning Saturday, the ValleyCats — who open their NY-Penn League season this week — will distribute calendars to elementary aged children at all home games and through their Kids Club. On each calendar, children can record activities, from physical/athletic endeavors to healthy eating choices. Once the calendar is filled, they can redeem it at the ValleyCats box office for a free game ticket.
The project is part of NYSUT’s 24/7 Let’s Go! Healthy Lifestyle program, created by the union’s Health Care Professionals Council in response to studies that show today’s children exercise less and eat more junk food than ever before. It was developed for use by teachers, school nurses and health care professionals to help them address childhood obesity in an enjoyable and interesting way.
More than 200,000 24/7 Let’s Go! kits have been distributed to teachers and students since the program kicked off statewide in 2005. The 24/7 Let’s Go! calendars will also be available at the NYSUT display during the ValleyCats’ “We Love New York Night” on Saturday. 24/7 Let’s Go! teacher training packets will also be available, as will other school supplies.
“This partnership demonstrates the ValleyCats’ commitment to the community, and to their young fan base,” said NYSUT President Richard C. Iannuzzi. “As athletes, and as an organization, the ValleyCats recognize the importance of promoting a healthy lifestyle.”
In addition to the 24/7 partnership, NYSUT will sponsor the ValleyCats’ popular “Dancing on the Dugout” promotion, which encourages young fans to get out of their seats and dance between innings.
“What better place to encourage good health and exercise than at a ballpark?” said NYSUT Vice President Kathleen Donahue. “It’s a great setting to show that being active and staying healthy can be fun.”
NYSUT, the state’s largest union, represents more than 600,000 teachers, school-related professionals, academic and professional faculty in higher education, professionals in education and health care and retirees. NYSUT is affiliated with the American Federation of Teachers, National Education Association and the AFL-CIO.