We at Healthi Kids accomplished a lot last quarter!

We partnered with organizations to promote healthy nutrition and physical activity in schools and underserved communities. We provided supplies and technical assistance to five schools, organized physical activity professional development sessions for teachers, and purchased sensory activity items for five schools. We also partnered with the Child Care Council to advance nutrition and physical activity in five home-based early childhood education (ECE) providers in Rochester.

We worked with state-wide advocates to advance out-of-school-time funding in the state budget, collaborated with the Director of the Office of Parent Engagement for the Rochester City School District (RCSD) to meet professional development needs, and recruited 5 parent leaders to the RCSD Wellness Task Force. We also collaborated with partners at Reconnect Rochester to plan a Complete Streets Makeover on Arnett Boulevard, had team member Mike Bulger selected to the Monroe County Traffic Safety Board to prevent traffic-related injuries and fatalities, and supported the Summer Meals Partnership of Rochester.

Active play is so important to our work, and, thanks to our Rescue Recess workgroup’s efforts, daily recess is back in the district schedule for the RCSD’s 2023-2024 school year! We provided feedback to the Ralph C. Wilson Foundation on play in Rochester and the Finger Lakes region, established a subcommittee to present a structure for a play fund to the Rochester Area Community Foundation, and collaborated with Connected Communities, the City of Rochester, and young artist Jewel on implementing playful sidewalks at Grand Avenue Park. We also recruited four new parent leaders, provided feedback to the NYS Office of Mental Health Community Engagement Feedback Sessions, and supported Black and brown fathers in Rochester by creating a supportive coalition.

Healthi Kids is currently helping plan a NYS B5 (Preschool Development Birth Through Five) parent conference in Syracuse and will be providing several workshops at the event. Our CEO, Wade Norwood, will be the keynote speaker. Additionally, we are working in partnership with the New York State Association for Infant Mental Health (NYS-AIMH) to establish their new policy committee where we will support the development of their statewide advocacy agenda for parents and community partners. We also signed on to support the Kids Can’t Wait Campaign's efforts to increase reimbursement rates for early intervention (EI) providers in the state budget.

Finally, we finalized our advocacy plan with the Monroe County Comprehensive Plan workgroup and began discussions with Monroe 2-Orleans BOCES (Board of Cooperative Educational Services) to establish a Community Schools Cooperative Services Agreement (Co-Ser). We also partnered with Finger Lakes Community Schools to plan a statewide conference and supported Wayne County Community Schools' Project LAUNCH (Linking Actions to Unmet Needs in Children Health) proposal.

We're excited about the progress we made and look forward to continuing to promote whole child health in our community.

—The Healthi Kids Team