Columbia, MD - Maryland SNAP-Ed, a program of University of Maryland Extension, in partnership with Maryland Department of Human Services, has written a new original storybook promoting family physical activity. Over 125,000 free print copies are being distributed to low-income sites across the state of Maryland this summer.
The Secret to an Extraordinary Day follows the story of an ordinary family that takes an unexpected adventure, prompted by a series of mysterious notes. Along the way they discover that being active together is a secret weapon for overcoming the summer (or any season) blues.
SNAP-Ed delivers multi-faceted interventions that support adoption of healthy behaviors by low-income audiences. Physical activity is a current focus area for SNAP-Ed, due to well-documented impacts on chronic disease prevention. Supporting youth in developing a lifelong relationship with physical activity also benefits overall well-being. Books are being distributed to partnering schools, early childhood sites, out of school programs, Maryland WIC offices, SNAP Outreach community partners, low-income 4-H youth programs, and summer meals sites, allowing SNAP-Ed to deliver health promotion messages while supporting family literacy and summer learning.
The book contains an Adventure Passport prompting families to take simple steps to move their bodies, tips for family physical activity, and links to a web landing page and SNAP-Ed social media feeds for additional resources.
According to Lisa Lachenmayr, Director of Maryland SNAP-Ed, “Physical activity has emerged as a priority for SNAP-Ed, both nationally and in Maryland. Among the many lasting effects of the pandemic, sedentary behaviors increased due to increased reliance on technology for school and education. While SNAP-Ed’s interest in physical activity is as a tool for obesity and chronic disease prevention, our partners also recognize the power of movement to address critical concerns around social-emotional health. The book promotes ideas for incorporating physical activity into daily activities for all abilities without spending money.”
All Marylanders are welcome to join in the fun by reading the book, taking the Extraordinary Day Challenge, and following Maryland SNAP-Ed on Facebook or Instagram for inspiring content throughout the summer.