NPR highlights colorful street work
National Public Radio aired a segment on how Rochester's colorful intersections and crosswalks calm traffic and build a sense of community. Listeners heard Mike Bulger of Healthi Kids tell how street art nudges residents toward healthier options and safer behaviors. Bulger describes how Parsells Avenue is so straight and wide that drivers "can lay on the gas." Yet the colorful intersection reminds drivers that people live on this street. Research shows that efforts to slow traffic can reduce crime. These efforts can also encourage walking and biking. Listen to the NPR story here (https://www.npr.org/2019/07/16/741814860/walking-on-painted-keys-creative-crosswalks-meet-government-resistance) . Read about Healthi Kids' Complete Streets Makeover here (https://www.commongroundhealth.org/neighborhood-intersection-gets-an-extreme-makeover) .
Playful grants are sparking activity downtown
Two grants are helping to add more play to downtown Rochester. The grants are from KaBOOM!, a national non-profit that promotes play, and the Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation.
Installation will begin soon on the Play Walk, a musical and playful route along Court Street in Rochester. Healthi Kids received a Play Everywhere challenge grant on the Play Walk. Shown above, colorful and fun features selected by a youth planning committee will line Court Street. The route will stretch from the Strong Museum of Play to the Central Library.
Additionally, Healthi Kids and the City of Rochester will receive a grant for a second phase of the play project. This new grant will help direct people to local attractions. It will include a play map, hop, skip and jump opportunities and a climbable "I Heart Rochester" sign.
Other new local projects (https://kaboom.org/grants/play_everywhere_challenge_built_to_play) include a grant for Foodlink to expand the play area at its Lexington Avenue Community Farm.
City releases draft plan for next 15 years
Over the last four years, Healthi Kids has worked closely with residents across the city to advocate for health and kids in all policies. That's why Healthi Kids was excited to read the draft Rochester 2034 Comprehensive Plan. This important plan will affect kids and families across our city. Rochester 2034 will set the city's strategic vision and goals for the future.
On our blog, find out what we think of the plan (https://www.healthikids.org/blog/city-releases-draft-plan-for-next-15-years) .
NY raises cigarette and e-cigarette purchase age to 21
We are grateful to the New York State Legislature and Governor Andrew Cuomo for raising the minimum age for the purchase of cigarettes and e-cigarette products (https://www.governor.ny.gov/news/governor-cuomo-signs-legislation-raise-tobacco-and-e-cigarette-sales-age-18-21) from 18 to 21. Most lifelong smokers become daily users before age 21. As our data show (https://www.commongroundhealth.org/data/insights?search=smoking&charts=none&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=July%202019%20Common%20Ground%20newsletter&utm_content=July%202019%20Common%20Ground%20newsletter+Version+B+Preview+CID_4b7fcb297a4e2a68fc6587257afd0240&utm_source=Campaign%20Monitor&utm_term=as%20our%20data%20show) , local high school students frequently experiment with smoking and vaping. Nicotine products are addictive and may cause cancer.
"With this legislation, New York's leaders have provided a powerful tool for protecting new generations of adolescents from become addicted to nicotine," said Wade Norwood, CEO of Healthi Kids' parent organization, Common Ground Health.
Also see support for the measure from the Greater Rochester Chamber's Bob Duffy (https://greaterrochesterchamber.com/news/bob-duffy-statement-on-new-york-raising-cigarette-purchase-age) .
Hundreds took part in PlayROCs
Hundreds of kids and families took part in Play ROCs Your Neighborhood July 13 at more than 40 sites in Rochester. The citywide play day advocated for safe and accessible play spaces. This year's event featured the participation of city R-Centers. Rochester Mayor, Lovely Warren, proclaimed July 13, 2019, PlayROCs Your Neighborhood Day.
According to a recent Common Ground Health survey, only 25.5 percent of adults in the city of Rochester feel their neighborhood is great for children to play outdoors. That compares to 64.3 percent of adults in the suburbs. Play is foundational to whole child health. Kids who play every day are healthier, do better in school and have reduced feelings of anxiety. They also develop important social-emotional skills such as teamwork and conflict resolution.
View a gallery of images from the day (https://flhsa.smugmug.com/Healthi-Kids/2019/PlayROCS-Your-Neighborhood-2019/n-TgwGC8/) .
Speak up for kids receiving free school meals
A federal proposal would change the way some people qualify for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). The proposal would also make it harder for families to qualify for free school meals. Currently, some states automatically enroll people with incomes of up to 200 percent of the federal poverty level if other expenses leave them with too little money to buy food.
Under the change, enrollment would be limited to households with a gross income of less than 130 percent of the federal poverty level. This cap would not take into account other household expenses. The change would also eliminate food assistance for seniors and people with disabilities if their savings or assets exceed $3,500.
Advocates say an estimated three million people nationally would no longer qualify for SNAP under the proposal.
Learn more and submit comments (https://frac.salsalabs.org/comment-on-trump-cat-el-proposed-rule/index.html) by Sept. 23.
Crosswalks helps make school routes safer
The City of Rochester's Department of Environmental Services has installed new high-visibility red crosswalks near several schools. Kudos to area principals for requesting the painted crosswalks to improve safe routes to school. To learn more about colorful crosswalks, contact Mike Bulger at firstname.lastname@example.org (mailto:email@example.com) or 585-224-3171.
New report outlines steps to help kids at risk
A new report from the National Academy of Medicine details how early experiences and life circumstances shape prenatal and early childhood development. The report is Vibrant and Healthy Kids: Aligning Science, Practice and Policy to Advance Health Equity.
Research shows that prevention and early intervention can help children living in circumstances that put them at risk. The report outlines the steps to reduce disparities and help at-risk children achieve positive health outcomes. Read it here (http://nationalacademies.org/hmd/Reports/2019/vibrant-and-healthy-kids) .
Parents needed to take survey
Parents: Playworks needs to hear from you. Playworks helps kids stay active and build life skills through play. It is researching parents' awareness and attitudes towards play in the children's physical and emotional development. The survey will help tailor efforts to engage parents in Western New York about recess and play-based learning. Take it here (https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/2ZYHW7N) .
What we're reading
From our partners the Greater Rochester Summer Learning Association is an op-ed on the importance of summer learning: Summer Learning helps low income students stay on track (https://www.democratandchronicle.com/story/opinion/columnist/2019/07/29/summer-learning-helps-low-income-students-stay-track/1855462001/)
From the Kiva blog, there is a profile of Rosa (https://www.kiva.org/blog/rosa-created-an-overnight-daycare-to-support-working-parents-in-her-community) , who has used her Kiva microloan to start an overnight childcare and preschool center in Rochester called the Hangout Spot. The center supports working parents and charges half price for single-parent families.
Aug. 8 - Kids ages 2 to 12 are invited to Exploration Stations of folktales and hands-on activities about space and the moon with WXXI Kids and Central Library of Rochester & Monroe County. 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Central Library Children's Center, 115 South Ave., Rochester.
Aug. 15 - Grand opening and ribbon cutting for the Community Story Walk at Beechwood from 10 to 11 a.m. at the Sully Branch Library and Ryan R-Center, 530 Webster Ave., Rochester. All are welcome to attend.
Aug. 17 - Fatherhood and Young Men Engagement Summit from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Rochester Riverside Hotel, 120 East Main St., Rochester (registration is 9 to 10 a.m.). The free event features lunch, childcare, interpreters, t-shirts and parking. The event will include community vendors, workshops for men and boys, legal and career services, entertainment, giveaways, free resources for dads and door prizes. The event is sponsored by the Rochester City School District Office of Parent Engagement, My Brother's Keeper, City of Rochester, WDKX, North Star Rites of Passage LLC, Healthi Kids and Roc City 48. Register here (https://www.eventbrite.com/e/fatherhood-young-men-engagement-summit-tickets-67071856729?aff=ebdssbdestsearch) .
Aug. 23 - Attend the 2019 Seneca County Health Department annual public health conference: A community focus on mental health. Keynote Joe Fantigrossi of the Lyons Central School District will speak on Our Kids Have Trauma: Now What? Seneca County Health and Senior Services Building Lecture Hall, Waterloo. $25 includes continental breakfast and lunch. Register here .
Aug. 24 - Wheatley Health and Wellness Fair. Free. 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Phillis Wheatley Community Library, 33 Dr. Samuel McCree Way. Designed to encourage healthy lifestyles, prevent and manage diseases and connect you to resources. Includes cooking demonstrations, health screenings, free massages, activities for kids, teen health information, prizes, giveaways and more.
In the news:
13 WHAM (Good Day Rochester) 4th annual PlayROCs Your Neighborhood (https://foxrochester.com/news/good-day-rochester/4th-annual-playrocs-your-neighborhood-day)
13 WHAM City neighborhoods celebrate play (https://13wham.com/news/local/city-neighborhoods-celebrate-play)
Minority Reporter C'mon out and play: July 13 is devoted to getting kids active (http://minorityreporter.net/cmon-out-and-play-july-13-devoted-to-getting-kids-active/)
Spectrum News PlayROCs Your Neighborhood (http://mms.tveyes.com/PlaybackPortal.aspx?SavedEditID=dae9d834-2b09-43d7-87f1-94e3b603fa93)
WROC TV - News 8 Cameron Ministries Peace Walk (https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=1&v=DAjgAjoBhUM)
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