GSA Advocacy Shared Use

Heart Disease and Stroke. You’re the Cure.


Kids tire swingCurrently at 17%, childhood obesity is at an all time high in the United States. Many health care professionals and advocates have identified this as an obesity epidemic. It’s important we work together to promote healthier lives for our children. A great way is for parents and community members to request access to community recreational facilities by urging their school and local government officials to pursue a shared use agreement. 

GSA Advocacy Shared Use Contest YTC LogoA shared use agreement allows schools to share their physical activity facilities, such as gyms, running/walking tracks and multi-purpose rooms, with the community for recreation and exercise opportunities. When school facilities or school grounds are made available to the community, the community’s built environment and public health are likely to improve. Making use of school facilities that would otherwise not be used after school hours allows for a more efficient use of public space and money, and an almost effortless strategy against childhood obesity. With obese children more likely to become obese adults, it’s important we address the issue now. We can prevent them from having serious health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes and some cancers that are associated with adult obesity.

The American Heart Association supports opening school facilities or school grounds to the community through shared use agreements – and wants to hear from you!

Tell us how you would like to use this opportunity. If your school already opens its doors to non-profits and churches, share your success story with us!

Stories are powerful persuasive tools - not only with others like you who have been impacted by heart disease and stroke in some way - but with legislators and their staff. Share your story today to help bring the facts to life for policymakers, fellow advocates, and the public.