What We Do
KEEN stands for the Kids Environmental Education Network. Through three groundbreaking projects, the KEEN Group has brought environmental education, healthy activities and the arts to deserving low-income youth. We provide childhood education programs that are designed to help families make healthy choices, to understand the environment and discover the arts through nature activities. Proper nutrition is critical to good health but healthy eating is only one piece of the puzzle. Studies show children who are not connected to nature or play outside more than thirty minutes a day perform poorly in school and suffer from mental delays and obesity.
The Keen Group offers easy program choices for families and children. Our initiatives are designed to help children take action to combat obesity, re-connect with nature and the environment; and obtain the tools to live healthy lives. The Keen Group aims to increase physical activity in all segments of the urban population. Our donors, volunteers and sponsors enable us to offer access to health care, nutrition training and outdoor resources low-income youth need to live healthy, active and environmentally friendly lives. Through our network, organizations are working together to change our communities in ways that will enable every American to be sufficiently physically active, manage their health, discover how the healing power of the arts, connecting with nature and making healthier food choices can truly make a positive difference.
Below are some startling statistics on the results of unhealthy lifestyles low-income youth are faced with in urban communities across the U.S.
- 1 of 7 low-income, preschool-aged children is obese.
- Approximately 17% (or 12.5 million) of children and adolescents aged 2—19 years are obese.
- Since 1980, obesity prevalence among children and adolescents has almost tripled.
- There are significant racial and ethnic disparities in obesity prevalence among U.S. children and adolescents. In 2007—2008, Hispanic boys, aged 2 to 19 years,were significantly more likely to be obese than non-Hispanic white boys, and non-Hispanic black girls were significantly more likely to be obese than non-Hispanic white girls.