Through the month of November, The Child Center of NY will be partnering with Advantage Care Physicians on a series of community events that combine health, education, games, prizes and fun for the whole family.
On November 4, we partnered with Advantage Care Physicians on a Family Game Night, held at Basie Beacon MS 72 in Jamaica, Queens. Strategically timed to happen on Election Night, when the school doubles as a polling place, it was a time for people to vote and then enjoy food, games and health screenings.
Sheila Tomlin, program director, said voters joined the fun when they heard the music and festivities. Thanks to Advantage Care Physicians, they were able to have their blood pressure, vitals, vision and BMI checked. The Beacon’s new marching band put on a musical show and The Child Center raffled off donated gift cards. Over 100 people came and some asked if it would become an annual event.
On November 5, we partnered with Advantage Care Physicians for the first of a series of maternal and child health workshops. Registered Nurse Frances Brenner, nurse practitioner with The Child Center’s Head Start programs, led 16 mothers, one dad and four new babies in education about preconception care and prenatal care.
“All of the women were mothers but many of them are planning to have future pregnancies, so even though they’ve gone through labor and delivery and childbirth they wanted more information,” Frances said. The women talked about their experiences with prenatal care—both positive and negative—and Frances spoke with them about the standards they should expect and ask for in their prenatal care.
Even after the workshop ended, the mothers lingered, talked about the workshop, and used a translator to ask more questions. “It was a great opportunity for them to have professional, authoritative guidance and information that they can use in their decision-making,” Frances said, and participants asked if they could invite family members and friends to future sessions.
During the following November 19th session, Frances used “Lactessa,” a cloth infant doll designed to teach breastfeeding skills, along with an anatomical cloth breast that reveals the inner structures involved in breast milk production. The mothers talked about their preferred nursing positions and earlier breastfeeding difficulties, and Frances gave suggestions and strategies for easier breastfeeding. This workshop enabled mothers to participate in sharing their views, challenges and joys of breast feeding, along with their communities’ cultural practices.
Future sessions will be held on November 19th and 26th and will cover caring for infants in the newborn period, and newborn and maternal development.
We are looking forward to the workshops and to another family-focused event on November 22: A Community Approach to Family Health. Participants will have the chance to participate in a community dialogue led by a physician from Advantage Care Physicians and a renowned community leader, Pastor Alfonso Wyatt. This will be followed by break out information sessions and parent conversations covering the distinct developmental stages of childhood (led by ACP pediatricians) as well as other vital community family health issues. In addition, the program will include entertainment for all ages, including a live DJ and physical fitness opportunities.