Open the Door to an Active Lifestyle Nonprofit

Grade Level: 
3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
Keywords: 
Community
Health
Physical Fitness
Open the door to a local nonprofit that promotes active lifestyles and find out how being active together can bring people close to others for fun and good health. This guide introduces you to the work of one group focused on bicycles as a first step before you contact your own local active lifestyle nonprofit. We think you'll be inspired to find a way to support their work with your own creative service and learning to make a real impact.

The "Open Doors to Your Community" project is a virtual door that guides young people to the actual door of local resources so they can learn about their community, take action, and build connections and understanding of their roles in the community. 

What Is the Purpose of an Active Lifestyle Nonprofit?

Eating well, being active, and meeting people are all part of having a healthy lifestyle and a healthy community. When diverse people come together to have active fun, they build relationships and good habits for a lifetime. Nonprofits that encourage this positive movement care about making the community stronger through biking, running, playing games, or hiking trails. What organizations in your community bring people together around outdoor activities? 


Meet an Organizer of Bike Activities

In this brief video, we meet Aaron Selbig. He tells us about the Northern Michigan organization el Norte that connects people in the community through bicycles. Their mission is to build stronger, better connected, and more walk and bike-friendly communities by empowering the young and young at heart. They use the bike as a tool to encourage people to be more active and to get out into their community. They have a summer bike camp for kids, teach bike maintenance, lend out bikes, and bring people together on community bike rides. Young people engage in their program as volunteers. 


Contact Your Local Active Lifestyle Nonprofit

Look up the contact information for activity groups in your community where you can learn about their services. Call to set up a phone or in-person interview. Tell them you'd like to learn more about the work of promoting healthy activities and ways you can get involved or volunteer to help their mission. Ask for 30 minutes or an hour of their time. The Interview Script linked here and below can help you make the call.

Interview Questions

These questions can help you learn about your community and ways you can get involved.

  1. What is the main purpose of an active lifestyle group? This may be its mission or vision. 
  2. What are some challenges that we face if citizens aren't healthy? Identify barriers people have to being active. 
  3. Can you share ways you have been successful in bringing communities together through movement?
  4. What are some things people can do to get their neighbors involved?
  5. What can a young person do to participate in the work of an active lifestyle group?

Take Action in Your Community

Reflect on the importance of well-rounded healthy activity in the community. What can you do to get involved? Your voice and time matter. The resources below can help you plan a project. 

The best service-learning projects guide us to gain and use knowledge, are led by youth voice and passion, address a need, and develop connections with local resources over time.

Learning to Give Issue Area Toolkits include background on the issue, community connections, lessons and activities, project ideas, and planning guides. Check out the Health and Safety toolkit. This lesson about Visualizing Health and Safety guides learners to identify health issues they care about.

 

Learning to Give Simple Safe Service guides provide directions for generous actions that encourage youth voice and promote the common good. Young people can make an Advocacy Poster to raise awareness of activities and opportunities. 

 

Learning to Give Literature guides combine selected literature with thought-provoking discussions and activities that teach about giving and civic engagement. Daniel's Good Day literature guide provides discussion questions for this picture book that shows the components of a healthy community.


More about Fitness and Fun

Fun Facts:

  • Being active is fun and can improve your brain function and sharpen your memory.
  • Exercising with others can boost your confidence and make you feel good.
  • Regular exercise can slow down the signs of aging.
  • Building community connections through shared activities can reduce stress and depression.

What You Can Do!

  • Volunteer at a running or biking race. Hand out water, cheer the participants, or clean up the course. 
  • Repair bicycles for the neighborhood children. Help find used bikes for kids who don't have one.
  • Set up a bicycle obstacle course and teach young children about bicycle safety. 
  • Get involved with Special Olympics.
  • Organize a game day for seniors in your community. Customize the games and activities for their skillset.