October 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 22

HEALTH & WELLNESS
Parks, Recreation and Mentoring:
What's the Catch?
By Lauren Kiefert
P
ark and recreation professionals and their agencies protect and support
the health of all people and the communities where they live, learn,
work and play. Park and recreation professionals nationwide have
begun to embrace their role as public health leaders - meeting
community members where they are and connecting them to various health
services. These professionals continue to expand programming and work to fill
gaps regarding access to physical activity, healthy food options, chronic disease
prevention and management, and social connections - while also supporting
academic and cultural enrichment opportunities. As community-based providers
of social-emotional development services for youth, local park and recreation
professionals also function as mentors and role models. Staff often mentor and
nurture youth in their communities, including troubled, at-risk youth. In times
of emerging public health threats, including substance use and mental health
disorders, trauma, adverse childhood experiences, and rising rates of depression
and suicide, parks and recreation is well suited to build protective factors around
youth and families and create connections community-wide.
Keeping Youth on
the Right Path
Formal one-on-one and group
mentoring
programs,
22 Parks & Recreation | O CTOBER 2 0 2 1
as well
as
informal mentoring opportunities,
support youth in establishing strong
connections
caring
| PARK S ANDRECRE AT ION . OR G
adults
with compassionate,
positive
and
role
models. Youth who are at risk of
falling off track but have a mentor
are 55 percent more likely to enroll
in college (tinyurl.com/2k5nvk9h),
as well as 52 percent less likely to
skip a day of school than their peers
and more likely to maintain better
attitudes toward school (tinyurl.com/
fdbdtv4h). Mentoring also plays a
role in preventing young people from
engaging in risky behaviors. Youth
with mentors are 46 percent less likely
than their peers to start using drugs
(bbbs.org/research).
Unfortunately,
one in three young people in the
United States reaches the age of 19
without having a mentor of any
kind (tinyurl.com/2k5nvk9h). This
number includes 9 million at-risk
youth who are missing out on the
critical support and connections
http://www.tinyurl.com/2k5nvk9h http://www.tinyurl.com/fdbdtv4h http://www.tinyurl.com/fdbdtv4h http://www.bbbs.org/research http://www.tinyurl.com/2k5nvk9h

October 2021 - Parks & Recreation

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of October 2021 - Parks & Recreation

October 2021 - Parks & Recreation - Intro
October 2021 - Parks & Recreation - Cover1
October 2021 - Parks & Recreation - Cover2
October 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 1
October 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 2
October 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 3
October 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 4
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October 2021 - Parks & Recreation - Cover3
October 2021 - Parks & Recreation - Cover4
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/october-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/september-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/august-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/july-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/june-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/may-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/april-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/march-2021
https://www.nxtbookmedia.com