The Wilkes Community Partnership for Children has been part of several health initiatives over the years that encourage young children to move more during their day. When you take a look at a typical outdoor space at a school or child care center you may notice how many children are actually sedentary. Even though they are outside, they are surprisingly not moving as you may think. You may see children on swings or sitting in a sandbox, engaged, but not really exerting a ton of energy. Because of this, the Partnership for Children knew we had to do better for the children in Wilkes County.
Using GO NAPSACC as best practice guidelines, our county began to work on improving health outcomes for children birth to age 5. The Partnership began participating in any opportunity that came available such as Be Active Kids, Farm to ECE, Natural Learning Initiative, Shape NC, and the most recent Physical Activity and Nutrition Grant. With the support of these programs, along with our community support (our local Health Foundation), we got to work. Technical Assistance staff began going into classrooms demonstrating new techniques, providing support to teachers, and making connections with families. To date, we have worked extensively in 18 out of our 24 licensed child care facilities.
Even though we have spent years implementing so many initiatives to make Wilkes County children healthier, we still have work to do. Changing lifestyles in a fast pace world is a never-ending job.
Submitted by: Stacy Daniels, MA – Child Development Specialist, Wilkes Community Partnership for Children