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.
“Who would like to help me make this salad?” the class instructor asked. In the front row, Kimberly Quintero, age 7, waved her arm eagerly. The instructor, Mohammad Haq, was part of Farm to Preschool, a national nutrition program that The Child Center of NY has brought to our Head Start in Woodside, Queens. He was teaching a group of mothers and children to make coleslaw, and he helped as Kimberly mixed fresh dill with grated cabbage and carrots.
Childhood obesity has doubled over the last thirty years—and low-income children are more likely to be overweight. The Farm to Preschool classes are just part of a broader anti-obesity health initiative that The Child Center is making throughout our early childhood programs. The initiative is anchored by a grant from BJ’s Charitable Foundation, which has increased the hours and duties of the Head Start nurse practitioner and the master’s level nutritionist.
Now, we will be able to screen all families in our Head Start programs for health problems, including obesity, diabetes and high blood pressure, providing extra care for those who need it. Our nutritionist will help Head Start staff establish healthy eating habits and menus. Our food service manager, who helped bring Farm to Preschool to Woodside, will continue to keep the focus on fresh, healthy fare. Continue reading