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Summer 2023 Newsletter 

Healthi Kids Playful Learning Summit. Presented by The Strong National Museum of Play.

Healthi Kids to host Playful Learning Summit at the Strong Museum

On Monday, August 21, Healthi Kids will host its first Playful Learning Summit. This free conference, presented by the Strong National Museum of Play, will center on the power of play and active learning for physical health, social-emotional learning, mental wellness, and academics.

National thought leaders on culturally responsive approaches to playful learning will lead hands-on workshops on how play helps Black and Brown children and students with disabilities thrive.

Attendance is free, but registration is required and space is limited. Priority will be given to educators, staff, administrators, community partners, and parents associated with RCSD, Greece Central School District, and Rochester charter schools.

Please note that this event is for adults to learn more about playful learning. Museum admission is not included.

Learn more »

Thank You, Alicia!

Thank you, Alicia, for 7 years of service to Healthi Kids!

As you may know, in the spring Common Ground Health brought on Melanie Funchess as our new Director of Mental Health and Wellness. We’re thrilled to be able to strengthen Common Ground’s role in mental health and wellness. As Melanie came in, it was clear that she needed support with implementation. To that end, we are thrilled to share that Alicia Evans has moved into a new role in the organization as Mental Health and Wellness Program Coordinator.

Alicia’s professional experience working with youth and families in various capacities, training in social-emotional health, trauma-informed strategies and mental health first aid, as well as her many years serving as our Healthy Schools Coordinator make her a perfect fit for this position.

We are so excited for Alicia’s new role within the organization! Please join us in thanking Alicia for her 7 years of service to the Healthi Kids Coalition and for the impact she’s had on so many kids in the Rochester City School District!


Introducing Carter Remy and Candice Williams

In July, we welcomed two new additions to the Healthi Kids team!

Carter Remy is our new PlayROCs Project Coordinator, filling the position that Beatriz LeBron previously held. Carter holds a BA in Cultural Anthropology and a MA in Applied Linguistics. He brings a rich background in youth development through his most recent work as the Youth Program Manager at Genesee Land Trust and past work at Hillside and Child and Family Services of Rhode Island. We are looking forward to the new perspectives Carter will bring to this work! Carter can be reached at

We also have Candice Williams joining us as Healthy Schools Project Coordinator, filling the position that Alicia Evans previously held. Candice is a Rochester native and Schools of the Arts alumnus with a passion for healthy lifestyles. She completed her BA in Kinesiology at Temple University. Most recently, Candice served as a SNAP-Ed Community Nutrition Educator working in a variety of settings including schools. She is also a certified personal trainer and led employee well-being programs for a large health system in North Carolina. Candice can be reached at

Welcome, Carter and Candice!

Rochester Active Transporation Plan

City of Rochester releases plan to make streets, public transit safer and more accessible 

We are excited to share the completion of the Rochester Active Transportation Plan (ATP) – a groundbreaking initiative to enhance the way we travel in our city. Developed with the help of Mike Bulger, our dedicated Healthy Communities Project Coordinator, the plan aims to make Rochester safer and more accessible for everyone.

Did you know that one in four households in Rochester lacks access to a car? With the Rochester ATP, our community is promoting walking, biking, using public transit, and other eco-friendly options for daily travel. It's not just about reducing our reliance on cars; it's about creating a more inclusive and convenient transportation system.

The plan addresses the challenges faced by those using mobility aids, like wheelchairs, and improves accessibility for all residents, especially our children who are too young to drive. Active transportation benefits everyone, offering affordable, healthy, and non-polluting ways to explore our city.

Learn more on the City website »

Infographic: How Recess Teaches Social Emotional Skills

Introducing the Sidewalk Chalk Summer Challenge!

Join us for 6 weeks of outdoor fun with sidewalk chalk!

Each week, we'll share exciting chalk activity ideas for that week on our social media channels. Get creative and share your art and fun with us using #HealthiKidsChalkChallenge.

Spread the word, and invite others to participate. Let's promote whole child health, outdoor play, and creativity.

Contact for additional resources or to get your hands on some chalk.

Get your chalk ready, step outside, and let your imagination soar! Stay tuned for the first week's activities. Don't miss out!

Summer Meals: Kids 18 & Under Eat Free!

Partner Spotlight: Free summer meals for all Rochester kids

Summer Meals is a collaborative effort that exists to make sure every child in the City of Rochester can get a free and healthy meal all summer long when they don’t have access to school meals. Foodlink, the City of Rochester, and the Rochester City School District provide meals for Summer Meals locations.

Many R-centers, schools, churches, and community organizations are locations where summer meals are served. A complete list of locations is available by dialing 2-1-1 or visiting

Learn more »