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play / 2021

Ready, Set, Gold! Virtual Program

Idea submitted in the My LA2050 Grants Challenge by Southern California Committee for the Olympic Games

Ready, Set, Gold! is a community health, fitness and social and emotional learning (SEL) program that promotes healthy and active lifestyles to children in Southern California schools. RSG! believes that every student should have equal access to resources that support physical and mental health, and academic achievement.

In which areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?

  • Central LA
  • East LA
  • San Gabriel Valley
  • San Fernando Valley
  • South LA
  • Westside
  • South Bay
  • County of Los Angeles
  • City of Los Angeles
  • LAUSD (select only if you have a district-wide partnership or project)

What is the problem that you are seeking to address?

Today’s students face challenges with healthy habit-forming, fitness, and goal achievement. The 2018-2019 FitnessGram results for students in Los Angeles County indicated only 21 percent of fifth graders, 26 percent of seventh graders, and 30 percent of ninth graders achieved the “healthy fitness zone” for all six assessed standards. 84% of the schools RSG! operates in are Title 1, serving a majority of low-income students and students who are disproportionality impacted by health, wellness and academic challenges. Closing the achievement gap and ensuring every child is college and career ready will take a complex and multi-pronged approach by all stakeholders including schools, teachers, families and the community at large.

Describe the project, program, or initiative that this grant will support to address the problem identified.

The RSG! virtual program was developed in response to the emergent needs of distance learning, and has been a game changer for so many young people. The 30-minute Virtual Ready,Set,Gold! lessons give students the opportunity to exercise with a talented Olympian or Paralympian at home. The virtual curriculum focuses on results-based physical activity conducted without equipment, and SEL topics for teachers to leverage. The fitness portion of the lessons range from endurance and flexibility to balance and strength training, and is developed by Dr. Karen Bloch who led the Sports Medicine and Performance Department for Team USA. The thematic units include lessons on goal-setting, perseverance, and leadership –all brought to life by the real personal experiences of RSG!’s Olympic and Paralympic mentors. The RSG! virtual program is a great success. School districts throughout Southern California and across the nation are seeking RSG! programming. The series is available for free online to all students. Due to the high demand and positive returns, RSG! continues to enhance its virtual content offering.

In what stage of innovation is this project, program, or initiative?

Expand existing project, program, or initiative (expanding and continuing ongoing, successful work)

Approximately how many people will be impacted by this project, program, or initiative?

Direct impact
Indirect impact

Describe how Los Angeles County will be different if your work is successful.

Ready, Set, Gold! is designed not only improve student’ health, but also to position them for advanced and sustained academic achievement. Across all RSG! schools there is remarkable correlation with increased academic achievement, higher attendance, improved behavior, and positive fitness test scores. In a survey conducted with participating schools, there is an 82% performance increase on the FitnessGram test; teachers reported an 82% growth in teamwork skills, and 91% increase in participation among students. Exit interviews reveal students develop character building assets like grit, determination, and the belief that anything is possible.

What evidence do you have that this project, program, or initiative is or will be successful, and how will you define and measure success?

The RSG! team defines success of the virtual program by reaching students beyond the barriers of COVID. The RSG! virtual program was launched in response to COVID in spring 2020. With the tremendous response received from educators and school districts, this virtual resource brought inspired positive programming to youth confined to their homes. As students move to in-person and hybrid learning, funds for physical education are being allocated to added safety protocols. A successful RSG! virtual program will reach all seven partnering school districts, and expand student participation to eight for the 2021-2022 school year. The RSG! team assess outcomes through an exit survey at the student, teacher and administrator level and tracks demand for future engagement. RSG! has eight schools on a waiting list to receive in-person programming for next school year. RSG! outcomes are measured by the required annual CA FitnessGram and the results directly correlate with RSG! program offerings.

Which of the play metrics will you impact?​

  • Walking and biking
  • Obesity
  • Youth sports participation

Indicate any additional LA2050 goals your project will impact.

  • LA is the best place to LEARN
  • LA is the healthiest place to LIVE