Knoxville Parks and Rec uses $25,000 grant to improve children's

Knoxville Parks and Rec uses $25,000 grant to improve children's summer camp program

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This summer, more than 850 children are participating in Knoxville Parks and Recreation’s Summer Playground Program, an eight week summer camp for children ages 6 to 12 that costs just $20 for the entire period. This summer, more than 850 children are participating in Knoxville Parks and Recreation’s Summer Playground Program, an eight week summer camp for children ages 6 to 12 that costs just $20 for the entire period.
The program is held at 12 rec centers throughout the city, focusing on keeping kids healthy and active all summer long. The program is held at 12 rec centers throughout the city, focusing on keeping kids healthy and active all summer long.
The money is going to help their nutrition program, providing each child with a nutritious lunch and snack every day. The money is going to help their nutrition program, providing each child with a nutritious lunch and snack every day.
By HAYLEY HARMON
6 News Anchor/Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - A new grant for the city of Knoxville is going to help children in the city's summer camp program.

Knoxville is one of just 50 cities across the country to receive the $25,000 grant from the National Recreation and Parks Association.

This summer, more than 850 children are participating in Knoxville Parks and Recreation’s Summer Playground Program, an eight week summer camp for children ages 6 to 12 that costs just $20 for the entire period.

The program is held at 12 rec centers throughout the city, focusing on keeping kids healthy and active all summer long.

"We go to the swimming pool, ice skating and roller skating, hiking. We go to Ijams Nature Center,” said Joe Walsh, director of Knoxville Parks and Recreation.

It's a program they've held for the last 20 plus years, but this year, it’s getting a much needed boost thanks to that $25,000 grant from the NRPA.

The money is going to help their nutrition program, providing each child with a nutritious lunch and snack every day.

Parks and Rec can now purchase the all new, much larger refrigerators they’ve been needing.

They’ll be able to store all the food that is delivered daily.

"Whether it's milk or juice, or fruits or vegetables, it's got to be refrigerated,” said Walsh.

Last year, through their summer program and after school program, they provided more than 70,000 meals to area children.

"We focus on two things. One, we want to make sure the kids get a good nutritious meal during the day and we want to make sure they're active and burn those calories up and have a good time,” said Walsh.

Parks and Rec is also implementing a new health education program.

"Each of our facilities is providing a lesson a day to the kids to help them understand the importance of nutrition,” said Walsh.

The grant is also going to fund a part-time staff position to assist in implementing that new fitness and nutrition education curriculum.

Parks and Rec is also going to buy new transportation coolers and kitchen equipment.

The grant is part of a $2.3 million grant through the “Let’s Move” campaign.

Knoxville ranked number one for cities, towns and counties taking part in that effort.

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