Tag Archives: child obesity

avnet express - donate car for chances for children

Avnet Express Donates Chevrolet Volt To Chances For Children

Approximately 17 percent of American children between the ages of two and 19 are obese, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention figures indicate — and those numbers climb even higher for children in low income families. Arizona-based charity Chances for Children works to give children in low-income families a chance at a healthier lifestyle — and now they’ll have even more help. At a ceremony today at Avnet Express’ Phoenix headquarters, Chances for Children Arizona will receive the keys to the Drive for Innovation’s General Motors Chevrolet Volt to use as their new “Get Fit” car.

“On behalf of Chances for Children I would like to thank Avnet Express for their generous donation and for enriching the lives of school aged children our organization assists,” said Janell Bolen, executive director, Chances for Children. “This donation will continue to help us provide our children with a chance at improving their lives through better diet and exercise, and learning how to achieve their own goals.”

The Avnet Express Drive for Innovation is an inspired initiative in partnership between Avnet Express, the e-Commerce engine for Avnet, Inc. (NYSE: AVT) and UBM Electronics, the daily source of essential business and technical information for the design engineering and electronics industry’s decision makers. To help further its commitment to improving quality of life by supporting partnerships and programs that provide access to sports, physical education, and character education or youth, Chances for Children Arizona will transform the car into the “Get Fit” car, allowing families greater access to health education programs that they might otherwise not been able to attend. Chances for Children’s mission follows First Lady Obama’s Let’s Move! initiative to solve childhood obesity and put children on the path to a healthy future during their formative years.

The event will take place in conjunction with Avnet’s employees; the company’s employees chose Chances for Children as the nonprofit to receive the Chevrolet Volt through an extensive nomination and voting process. Ian Basey, vice president, Marketing, Avnet Electronics Marketing, will present the keys to Janell Bolen, along with Regis Balaban, corporate account manager, TE Connectivity, a Drive for Innovation sponsor, and Brian Fuller, editorial lead, Drive for Innovation.

“Chances for Children Arizona is a well-deserved recipient of this donation and we’re happy to see the Drive for Innovation car being put to such good use,” said Beth Ely, senior vice president, Avnet Express.

“Corporate support of school aged children is critical to our future generations,” said Fuller. “As we’ve traveled throughout the country we’ve met with hundreds of students and teachers to discuss technology and innovation.  I hope this donation to Chances for Children will assist these kids to get excited about their health, technology and their futures.”

Avnet Express is also awarding a new Chevrolet Volt to a sweepstakes winner. Additionally, members of the Formula Electric Team from the Arizona State University Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering will receive the keys to a disassembled General Motors Chevrolet Volt that was used in a teardown to uncover the many different systems down to the board and chip level. The students will be able to further examine the vehicle, its parts and functionality at the conclusion of the Drive for Innovation program.  Click here to see a time-lapse video of the Chevrolet Volt teardown.

Since July 2011, the Drive for Innovation Chevrolet Volt has been making periodic stops throughout the journey, where Fuller, the driver of the Chevrolet Volt, has been interviewing engineers, entrepreneurs, innovators and students, and blogging and posting video updates about his experiences. The trip details the electronic innovations behind the Chevrolet Volt and the future of plug-in electric cars. The multi-faceted program is anchored by a website that features content from the road trip, a drive tracker and an interactive map that highlights the tour as well as games and prizes to fuel community engagement.

Avnet Express gives design engineers and purchasing professionals online access to the world’s largest catalog of electronic component products, which tops five million parts. Avnet Express offers parametric searching capabilities and the ability to upload a bill of materials (BOM) for easier sourcing of products and a consistent global platform of localized content. The site can be accessed in nine languages and 13 currencies.

To learn more about Avnet Express, visit avnetexpress.com. To follow the “Drive for Innovation” and the Chevrolet Volt as it travels across the United States, visit www.driveforinnovation.com. Follow the “Drive for Innovation” on Facebook and Twitter.

Chances for Children is committed to improving quality of life by supporting partnerships and programs that provide access to sports, physical education, and character education for youth.  Chances For Children-AZ was reorganized on July 1, 2003 as a not-for-profit organization with the purpose of providing children in Arizona opportunities that otherwise may not be affordable to them.

Author Says Parents Should Unplug Their Kids From Electronics And Plug Them Into Nature

Getting kids back in touch with nature is critical to raising healthy children, according to author and journalist Richard Louv. His most recent book, “Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder,” focuses on the relationship between children and nature. Louv links the lack of nature in the lives of today’s electronically hooked generation to rises in childhood obesity, attention disorders and depression.

Louv will be the keynote speaker at Valley Forward’s 40th annual luncheon on Dec. 12, at the Phoenix Convention Center.

Louv is also chairman of the Children & Nature Network, an organization fostering an international movement to connect children with nature. He says direct exposure to nature is essential for healthy childhood development and for the physical and emotional health of children and adults.

Louv says it’s ironic that the largest increase in child obesity occurred in the past 20 years as organized sports for children expanded.

“It’s not necessarily more activity going to more soccer practices,” he says. “As kids, we got moving as soon as we got home from school. We ran outside. Some started baseball games, others ran into the woods and worked on a tree house or dug a hole for a fort. That activity is different than a couple of soccer practices a week, followed by soft drinks and snacks from parents.”

Part of the problem is a paucity of parks, play areas and even roof gardens in city and suburban neighborhoods.

“All research points in the same direction, that children with attention deficit disorder do much better with a little bit of contact with nature,” Louv says.

But Louv is careful “to not demonize electronics,” joking that he conducted this interview while talking on his iPhone. While it’s true that youngsters are plugged into some kind of device an average of 44 hours a week — a factor in childhood maladies — it would be a mistake to focus too much on electronics and perhaps miss a deeper discussion. He mentions urban design.

“We tell kids to walk, but where are they going to walk?” Louv says. “Communities give us manicured lawns, and then have covenant restrictions that prevent kids from playing. Another issue is the over-structuring of childhood. Parents feel they have to fill every spare minute of their kids’ lives to get them into Harvard. You want your kids to get into Harvard? Tell them to go outside. Kids learn better when they’re outside.”

Going for walks, however, presents another problem.

“Parents are scared to death to let their kids go for a walk,” Louv says. “It’s the stranger-danger thing.”

Louv says child abductions by strangers are rare and the rate has been dropping for the past 20 years. He recommends nature clubs, where several families go on a hike together.

“It’s a practical way to deal with fear,” he says.

Other suggestions for healing the broken bond between children and nature include:

  • Maintain a birdbath.
  • Replace part of your lawn with native plants.
  • Collect lightning bugs at dusk and release them at dawn.
  • Make a leaf collection.
  • Keep a terrarium or aquarium.
  • Encourage kids to go camping in the backyard.
  • Give kids a daily “green hour” for unstructured play and interaction with the natural world.
  • Take a hike or organize a neighborhood stroller group that meets for weekly nature walks.
  • Encourage kids to build a tree house, fort or hut.
  • Plant a garden.


If You Go
Valley Forward’s 40th Annual Luncheon
11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m., Dec. 12
Phoenix Convention Center
Information: (602) 240-2408 or info@valleyforward.org