Latest Newsletter


Healthi Kids awarded new funding from New York State Department of Health

We're thrilled to share that Healthi Kids has been awarded a 5-year grant through New York State Department of Health called Creating Healthy Schools and Communities! This funding will let us continue to advance our work in building equitable communities and supporting healthy learning environments.

The deliverables of the grant allow us to focus on:

  • Supporting physical activity and nutrition interventions in schools
  • Expanding our work to support physical activity and nutrition interventions in early care and learning environments
  • Advancing food service guidelines in worksites and community settings
  • Connecting routes to destinations and supporting physical activity access in communities

To learn more about this funding opportunity please reach out to Jenn Beideman our Advocacy Manager.


Coalition members present at national US Play Coalition conference

Shout-out to our coalition members Evette Colon, Heather Feinman, and Dori Young. On June 2nd they presented alongside Jenn and Kathryn Mariner, Anthropologist at the University of Rochester at the national US Play Coalition conference. Their presentation entitled "Capture the Flag: How Traditionally Marginalized Residents Reclaim Urban Space Through Play" shared more about their work to transform their neighborhoods here in Rochester!


Spreading the power of infant and early childhood mental health across the state

This spring Erick Stephens our Parent Engagement Specialist presented our work related to infant and early childhood mental health (IECMH) at a monthly meeting of Healthy Families New York in Broome County. The group reached out to Erick after connecting with him at the New York State Association for Infant Mental Health's annual meeting. Practitioners were able to learn more about why it's important to center culturally responsive and relative practices when advancing the work.  To learn more about his work please reach out to Erick


Parents share their needs and perceptions of childcare during COVID-19

We know all caregivers have been navigating so many challenges to keep their kids safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. We also know that many caregivers have had to find new and emergency forms of childcare for their babies, school-aged kids, and teens. Community organizations across the region have been working together to meet the needs of families. As we all continue to navigate this strange new world, we want to make sure that resources, supports, and assistance are informed and shaped by family voices. 

That's why Healthi Kids in partnership with the United Way of Greater RochesterFinger Lakes Community SchoolsUnited Way of Ontario CountyChild Care CouncilChild and Family ResourcesWayne MOST, and the Greater Rochester After School and Summer Alliance, came together in Fall 2020 to launch a study to better understand families perceptions and childcare needs during COVID-19. 

To read more about our work read our latest blog post here. To read the full report and recommendations visit here.


Schools out and summer meals are in 

The end of school this week signals the start of summer. Make sure to check out summer meals locations near you by visiting www.summermealsroc.org or calling 2-1-1.


PlayROCs featured in Brookings Placemaking Postcard series

Our play work was recently highlighted nationally in the Brookings Institute's Placemaking Postcards series. Be sure to read "How resident-led advocacy in Rochester New York is creating a more playful city" here.


Food Policy Council featured by American Public Health Association

Our work to establish a resident-led Food Policy Council here was recently highlighted nationally in the American Public Health Association's blog for the Healthiest Cities Challenge. Read that article here.


Take Action: Apply to be a member of the Food Policy Council

We are currently recruiting City of Rochester residents with a passion for our food system to join the Rochester Food Policy Council. For more details on how to register and spread the word are on our website here or contact Mike Bulger our Healthy Communities Project Coordinator. 


Take Action: Families and students needed to share your vision for playful learning in RCSD

Our work continues to advance in the power of play in schools. This Spring we launched PlayROCs the RCSD. Together we're working alongside students and families to develop a collective vision for playful learning for play in the Rochester City School District.

To keep that work moving, we're asking all students and parents in the RCSD to take the survey and share with us more about what play should look like in RCSD! Complete the survey and enter to win family passes to the Strong Museum of Play!

To take the survey and to learn more please visit our website or contact Beatriz LeBron our PlayROCs Project Coordinator.


Take Action: Parents needed to join the Greater Rochester After School and Summer Alliance (GRASSA) Advocacy Committee

Healthi Kids currently co-chairs the Greater Rochester After School and Summer Alliance's Advocacy Committee with The Children's Agenda. We are currently recruiting additional members to join in! We're specifically looking for parents and caregivers wish a passion for advancing high quality after school and summer programs for kids in Monroe County. 

If you're a parent of a school-aged child in Monroe County and interested in participating or learning more please contact Jenn Beideman our Advocacy Manager.


Take Action: Parents needed to join Early Childhood Development Initiative (ECDI) Advocacy Committee

Healthi Kids also currently co-chairs the Early Childhood Development Initiative's Advocacy Committee and is recruiting additional members to join in! We're specifically looking for parents and caregivers of kids 0-8 who are looking to support advocacy that will advance developmentally appropriate care, learning and supports for kids. If you or anyone you would know would be interested in joining, please let us know.

If you're interested in participating or learning more please contact Stephanie David our Children's Health Policy Associate.