March 29, 2017

Kids stay smart and fit with award-winning 'Walking Classroom' program

HAIKU, Hawaii — Children at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Maui — Haiku Clubhouse are the first on Maui to take part in an innovative national curriculum, the “Walking Classroom,” which combines walking, listening and learning for a fun and healthy after-school experience. In all, 90 WalkKit audio devices preloaded with custom-written, kid-friendly podcasts were distributed to all six clubhouses on Maui, funded by a $35,000 community benefit grant from Kaiser Permanente Hawaii.

The Haiku Clubhouse offers the Walking Classroom activity to its members several times a week. A group of students ranging in age from 9 to 17 each receive their own WalkKits and listen to a lesson related to science, language arts or social studies. They go for a guided 20-minute walk around the clubhouse while listening to the podcast, and end with a discussion to ask questions and solidify learning.

“Since implementing the program in 2016, we’ve already experienced an overwhelmingly positive response from our members,” said Kelly Pearson, chief executive officer of Boys & Girls Clubs of Maui. “Most days, the sign-up to participate in our Walking Classroom is full. Our kids love the opportunity to walk around outdoors, and the podcast lessons are engaging and fun to discuss afterward.”

“Combining exercise and education provides a wonderful opportunity for children to engage and learn in different ways,” said Mary Ann Barnes, RN, president of Kaiser Foundation Hospital and Health Plans Hawaii Region. “We’re excited to support the Boys & Girls Club as they implement this innovative program on Maui.”

About Boys & Girls Clubs of Maui

Boys & Girls Clubs of Maui, Inc., is a non-profit 501 (c)(3) organization that operates drop-in service facilities that provide a safe, supportive, non-judgmental, nurturing and supervised environment where youth ages 9 to 17 years old can be themselves, experience positive role models and learn the values and skills that promote success. Boys & Girls Clubs of Maui serves over 9,000 Maui County youth annually with six clubhouses located throughout Maui and with outreach programs. Founded in 2000, the Mission Statement of Boys & Girls Clubs of Maui is to inspire and enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to realize their full potential as productive, responsible and caring citizens. Learn more at www.bgcmaui.org.

About Kaiser Permanente Hawaii

Kaiser Permanente Hawaii has provided total health to the people of Hawaii for nearly 60 years, with physicians who are members of the Hawaii Permanente Medical Group, the largest multi-specialty physician group practice in the state of Hawaii. Kaiser Permanente is dedicated to care innovations, clinical research, health education, and the support of community health. Visit kp.org for additional information. Become a fan of good health with Kaiser Permanente Hawaii: Like our page at Facebook.com/KPHawaii and follow @KPHawaii on Twitter.