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Healthy Families Healthy Communities Program Starts at Port Discovery

Port Discovery Children’s Museum is ranked as one of the top 12 children’smuseums in the country by Forbes and offers three floors of educational,interactive exhibits and programs for children ages birth through ten years. All of the Museum’s programming aligns with the Maryland Model for SchoolReadiness and the state curriculum, with a focus on five core Platforms ofLearning:

1.   EarlyChildhood Learning
2.   HealthyFamilies/Healthy Communities
3.   STEM (Science,Technology, Engineering, and Math)
4.   FinancialLiteracy
5.   Creative Artsand Culture
InMaryland, obesity is an escalating concern, with the percentage of adults whoare overweight or obese doubling over the last 20 years. About 177,000 out of615,000 Maryland children ages 10 – 17 years are considered overweight orobese. This is 28.8 percent of youth. Obesity is even more common amongAfrican-American youth, with a rate of 34.6 percent. There is a critical needin our community to educate children at an early age on the importance healthyeating habits and participating in daily physical activities.

PortDiscovery is committed to providing families with young children in BaltimoreCity and beyond, the opportunity to engage in physical play and adopt healthyhabits through its Healthy Families Healthy Communities platform oflearning. Responding to health issues such as childhood obesity, Port Discoveryoffers programs such as Healthy First Saturdays, a monthly communityhealth fair and Cook and Tell an interactive cooking demonstrationwhere children create a healthy snack based on a children’s story book; as wellas exhibits such as KidWorks, a 3-story urban tree house and itsnewest exhibit, Kick It Up Brought to you by UnitedHealthcare, that promotephysical activity and provide greater awareness to practice healthy living.

Inrecognition of the significant strides the Museum has made to promote healthand wellness to all children and families in our community and beyond, PortDiscovery has been named a Good to Grow! Museum by the Association ofChildren’s Museums. Port Discovery is only one in five out of over 300children’s museums in the country to receive this national designation and isproud to help reinforce the message that Baltimore is on its way of becomingone of the healthiest cities in the United States!

Kick It Up is an indoor soccer field that transforms into a fitnessarena featuring innovative, interactive games developed by Exergame, including: test how accurate your dance steps are against otherplayers
WebRacer bikes: compete against others in a virtual bike race
·iJoy BalanceBoards : see how long you can staybalanced on a moving board that simulates surfing and skiing
Touch Wall (T-Wall): test your reaction time by using theirbodies to hit lit targets

Port Discovery’s exhibits team researched several companies that specialize inelectronic fitness games and chose Exergame products for its wide variety ofage appropriate experiences, excellent customer support, and solid record ofproduct durability.  As a children’s museum and a trusted communityresource, it is our mission to be an advocate of one of the biggest issuestoday – the health of our children. The Exergames we chose to include in KickIt Up! provide an interactive and engaging environment where children andfamilies can experience firsthand that exercise can be fun!

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Exergame Fitness is leading a new movement incorporating technology into fitness. We provide a new way to engage people in fitness, through gamification and technology. By doing this, we create socially engaging, supportive, and inviting fitness communities worldwide

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