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An Action-Packed Day: 2004 Nebraska VERB Event, Lincoln, Nebraska
June 26, 2004


The Office of Women’s Health in the Nebraska Health and Human Services System hosted an intergenerational conference for tween girls (ages 9–13) and the women who care for them (mothers, grandmothers, aunts, etc.) in June 2004. To keep within the spirit of the VERB brand, the tweens experienced the joys of physical activity in breakout sessions just for them, while the parents had a more educational experience through traditional presentation sessions.

Buddy Lee, of The Jump Rope Institute, and Angela Perez Baraquio, Miss America 2001, entertained and inspired the tweens with a few motivational words and lots of activity. Mr. Lee refereed a jump rope contest with many tweens from the audience, and Ms. Perez Baraquio taught all the attendees a hula dance.

During the activity sessions, tweens practiced all types of dancing—hip hop, clogging, Native American, stepping, Israeli, and drill team. Tapping into the strong appeal of the high school and college sports teams, University of Nebraska and local high school coaches and athletes worked with the tweens on basketball, baton twirling, cheerleading, softball, and strength training skills.

Recognizing and rewarding physical activity, the tween participants received cool VERB backpacks, pedometers, a jump rope and a physical activity log.

Over 400 participants attended the event, and most completed a pre- and post- event survey, which indicated the event successfully increased tweens’ confidence and motivation to be physically active. The planning committee also conducted focus groups with tweens across the state to shape the delivery of this intervention.

The All Recreate Fridays movement after the VERB event helped to sustain the positive outcomes of the event in middle schools across the state. Kids participating in All Recreate Fridays are active at least 60 minutes on Fridays through school, community, and family activities. Kids track their time spent being active and receive cool prizes for their efforts.

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