THE ANGEL – The Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation (LADF) and UCLA Health today announced their joint efforts to help youth and families as the pandemic continues to affect Angelenos’ physical and mental health. In early February, LADF and UCLA Health Sound Body Sound Mind (SBSM) distributed home fitness kits to all 500 youths at the KIPP Academy of Innovation in East Los Angeles. On February 16, LADF will also open a number of live virtual fitness clinics with EXOS UCLA Health Sports Performance for teens ages 5 to 18. These collaborative efforts to eradicate health inequalities are supported by a LADF-supported research study led by Dr. Rebecca Dudovitz, who focuses on defining best practices for physical education through distance learning and the educational resources needed to do so.
“UCLA Health remains a key partner in our COVID-19 relief efforts and an authority on what our communities need right now,” said Nichol Whiteman, CEO of the Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation. “While we wish we didn’t in 2021, we know our families need ongoing support to get along and stay home safe. Physical fitness and mental wellbeing go hand in hand, and we are making the investments and partnerships necessary to make these resources available. “
“UCLA Health is proud to partner with the Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation and appreciates the support of a pediatric research study of best practices for the delivery of physical education via distance learning with a particular focus on our most underserved communities. While the results of this study are currently being reviewed, feedback from physical education teachers and school health experts has shown the importance of ensuring that all children have access to basic fitness equipment. These initial insights will help fuel the work of LADF and UCLA Sound Body Sound Mind to create PE kits and distribute them to students across Los Angeles, ”said Johnese Spisso, President of UCLA Health.
The LADF initially granted Sound Body Sound Mind a grant of USD 25,000 to support sports and fitness studios in schools. However, due to need, programs revolved around providing home sports kits to assist students during distance learning.
“As we approach a full year of distance learning, the need for fitness at home has never been greater. The COVID-19 pandemic hasn’t changed the fact that students have to exercise. The benefits of being active are enormous, from increased academic performance and focus to less stress and anxiety, ”said Matt Flesock, executive director of UCLA Health Sound Body Sound Mind.
The kits include a reusable bag, water bottle, frisbee, skipping rope, wiffel ball, cones, yoga mat, rubber playground ball, resistance band, mask, and hand sanitizer. Also included are educational materials, SBSM’s nutritional curriculum, four-week home training, and parenting health tips (available in both English and Spanish). SBSM will also work closely with the KIPP Academy of Innovation PE teacher to support the use of the kits through physical education classes.
“Staying healthy over the past year has been an incredible challenge for our students, but our KIPPfit team has continued to develop innovative strategies to keep our children mentally and physically healthy,” said Melissa Ulloa, principal of the KIPP Academy of Innovation Grateful to the Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation and UCLA Health Sound Body Sound Mind for their generous donation. The Fit Kits allow our students to access even more creative workouts and give them the opportunity to remain optimistic about the ongoing challenges. “
Through a series of 10 live virtual fitness workouts starting February 16, teens and Dodgers RBI attendees ages 5-18 in Los Angeles learn fun and interactive exercises that encourage them to live healthy lifestyles develop. EXOS ‘UCLA Health Sports Performance is a collaboration between two of the leading medical and athletic performance organizations and experts in providing high quality exercise, nutritional and wellness support to athletes of all ages and abilities. The teens are guided through a 45-minute clinic with warm-up and circuit training as they are encouraged to stay home, stay healthy, and stay active.
* About the Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation: *
The Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation, ESPN’s Sports Humanitarian Team of the Year, is bigger than baseball and has ambitions to be the city’s premier charity. We envision a city where everyone, regardless of their zip code, has the opportunity to develop. We meet the most pressing problems in Los Angeles with the mission to improve education, health care, homelessness and social justice for all Angelenos. Since 1995, we’ve invested more than $ 32 million in programs and grants for nonprofits, and fundraising has increased 1,000% since 2012. That growth has enabled us to do more. Visit LADF online at www.dodgers.com/ladf, follow them on twitter, @ DodgersFdn, Instagram, @ Dodgersfoundationand like her on Facebook below www.facebook.com/LosAngelesDodgersFoundation.
About UCLA Health Sound Body Sound Mind
UCLA Health Sound Body Sound Mind’s mission is to promote self-confidence and healthy lifestyle choices among today’s youth. SBSM is committed to building a healthier, more active generation of students in Los Angeles through targeted investments in middle and high school sports programs.