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The original item was published from 7/11/2013 12:32:07 PM to 7/11/2013 12:35:57 PM.

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Posted on: July 12, 2013

[ARCHIVED] The benefits of recreation extend beyond the individual

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Research shows that recreation "brings neighbors together, encourages safer, cleaner neighborhoods and creates a livelier community atmosphere; (it) help(s) improve the community’s image, socioeconomic status and enhance the area’s desirability.” 1

This month, Eugene Recreation is celebrating the many benefits of recreation and asking, why do you love recreation? Share your reason and we’ll enter you in a drawing for a $50 Recreation gift card.

Many community benefits result from recreation programs offers when youth are out of school. Approximately million youth are left home alone every afternoon, every day of the week. Moreover, studies show that “….when the school bell rings, leaving millions of young people without responsible adult supervision or constructive activities, juvenile crime suddenly triples….Nearly half of all violent juvenile crime takes place during the six hour period between 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.”7

However, youth participation in quality Recreation OST programs is “associated with academic success, mental health, positive social relationship and behaviors, identity development and civic engagement.”6 These benefits reduce crime and pave the way for young people to develop into contributing members of the community. “When young people have access to quality [recreation] programs, they have increased opportunities to succeed academically, have higher aspirations, and are better prepared to enter post-secondary school and the marketplace…where they will contribute to the growth of the economy.”6

Quality OST recreation programs can also reduce what is called Parent After-School Stress (PASS), which can cause parents to “miss up to five days of work per child and it is estimated that that PASS is costing companies from $50-$300 billion in health care and lost job productivity each year.”6

Communities also benefit because recreation programs often encourages volunteering to extend their capacity. “Park and recreation agencies rely on volunteers to ensure the delivery of programs and services….” Volunteering “leads to increased interest and involvement in other aspects of the community.”1

And, recreation can promote stewardship of the natural environment. “People who enjoy outdoor recreation become more familiar with natural resources and environment. This increased knowledge helps them understand how their personal actions can affect the environment.”1

Eugene Recreation’s OST programs and camps focus on youth development. All Recreation programs embrace the 40 Developmental Assets Model Framework, which uses concrete, commonsense, positive experiences that help young people become caring, responsible adults and benefit the community.

Why do YOU love recreation? Tell us why with a Facebook post, email or note and be entered to win a $50 Recreation gift card. Get more info: http://www.eugene-or.gov/celebraterec.

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