Introducing "Our Highlights"
Every six months our staff prepares an update for our coalition members about our collective work to advance our advocacy agenda. The staff summaries provide a more detailed look into how staff and our coalition members are working towards our policy goals. Those summaries are now available live on our website (https://www.healthikids.org/about-us/our-current-highlights) .
Some key highlights (https://www.healthikids.org/blog/our-highlights-july-december-2020) from the last 6 months include:
* Partnering with our child care community to amend state regulations around out of school time and child care to support kids and families
* Surveying primary caregivers and providers about their experiences with Early Intervention (EI) teletherapy during COVID-19
* Advancing a resident-driven food policy council in partnership with the City of Rochester and Foodlink
* Ensuring fathers are centered and have space within child serving systems by advancing the Rochester City School District and City of Rochester My Brother's Keeper initiatives
* Providing technical assistance and support to Rochester City School District community schools to include physical activity, social emotional learning, and wellness in remote learning environments
* Advancing unstructured play across the region by sharing best practices of our PlayROCs campaign with Project Play Western New York in Buffalo.
To learn more about what we've been up to the past six months, you can click here. If you're interested in learning more about all of our past staff summaries, you can click here (https://media.cmsmax.com/9p433trpk8pdaaywwkfzb/healthi-kids-staff-summary-july-dec-2020.pdf) and/or visit the section on our website called "Our Highlights (https://www.healthikids.org/about-us/our-current-highlights) "
Take Action: Outdoor Bill of Rights
Play is fundamental to whole child health. The Department of Recreation and Human Services is currently partnering with teens across the City of Rochester to develop an Outdoor Bill of Rights. We want the city to know that every child has the right to play in their neighborhood.
Share your input with the teens here (https://forms.office.com/Pages/ResponsePage.aspx?id=LtonvrSU2kGUffYC1g6AfHl46dL_o3FLqTMRT0pCePBUQkpTUDRIVUFORUxKVkxNMlU0SDhXMEg4RC4u) .
Take Action: City of Rochester Annual Budget
It's budget season! The City of Rochester is seeking public input to help them prepare the City's upcoming budget. Make sure the city prioritizes whole child health in their upcoming budget. Residents of the city can participate in one or all of the following events:
1. An online survey (https://forms.office.com/Pages/ResponsePage.aspx?id=LtonvrSU2kGUffYC1g6AfND8vkLiWRxPgGj7gfZpfhlUMTFUVksxM0g5MEdBSFFaSkoyODJFVEZYUC4u) located on the City's website available through Thursday, March 18;
2. A Virtual Community Update on Zoom at 6:30 p.m., Tuesday, March 9; and
3. A Telephone Town Hall Forum at 6:30 p.m., Thursday, March 18
To take the survey, participate in the virtual update and/or register for the telephone town hall meeting, visit(http://www.cityofrochester.gov/budget) before May 15th!
To learn more about the advocacy options, please reach out to Jenn Beideman, our advocacy manager at firstname.lastname@example.org (mailto:email@example.com)
Healthi Kids Coalition Supports Schools Reopening
COVID-19 has changed so much for us all, but we know that virtual learning has been one of the most challenging things families have had to navigate. The decision to reopen schools isn't easy - but we know that kids need a healthy learning environment where they have opportunity to buildhealthy relationships with adultsand their peers. As we continue to navigate the ever changing dynamics of COVID and its impact on communities, the Healthi Kids coalition sent a letter to the RCSD Superintendent and School board in support of schools reopening safely.
To read our full comments click here: click here (https://www.healthikids.org/blog/healthi-kids-supports-rcsd-reopening-plans) .
Deep Dive: Understanding School Meals & What You Can Do About It
Last month, parents and residents on social media and the local news were outraged over the state of children's meals in schools. We heard our community loud and clear, we know school meals should be better for our kids. That's why for the last decade we've been pushing forward change with kids and families.
Check out our latest blogs on the topic:
* School meals: how federal, state, and local regulations shape school food & what you can do about it (https://www.healthikids.org/blog/school-meals-how-federal-state-and-local-regulations-shape-the-school-food-what-you-can-do-about-it)
* Do you want to support RCSD students by purchasing snacks? Here's what you need to know (https://www.healthikids.org/blog/your-smart-snack-primer)
Advancing whole child health in Albany
Our team's been active the past month in Albany, moving forward whole child health priorities and joining state-wide coalitions to advance change. To learn more about each coalition, and how you can get involved click the links below!
* New York State Community Schools Network (https://networkforyouthsuccess.org/community-schools-network/) (healthy learning environments)
* Network for Youth Success (https://networkforyouthsuccess.org/policy/advocacy/advocacy-week/) (healthy out of school time)
* New York Grown for New York Kids (https://finys.org/nyfood4nykids) (healthy school meals)
* Kids Can't Wait (https://thechildrensagenda.org/the-agenda/earlychildhood/kids-cant-wait/) (early intervention services)
* Early Childhood Advocacy Days (http://www.empirestatechildcare.org/2021-virtual-early-childhood-advocacy-days.html) (infant and early childhood mental health)
* American Heart Association (https://easternstates.heart.org/newyork/westernny/) (healthy equitable communities)
New Report by Healthi Kids Sheds Light on Family Childcare Needs During COVID-19
A new report by Healthi Kids shed light on family childcare needs during COVID-19. We asked caregivers in Monroe and Wayne county what's going on with their childcare needs since the pandemic started; and if they had that magic wand, what would they want to see to improve it. The report provides insight into the challenges families have faced when trying to address their childcare needs throughout the pandemic, and offers solutions identified by primary caregivers on what would make their current situation better. The report is currently advacing community wide advocacy and systems change to address the childcare needs of families right now, and continues to advance our advocacy to center kids and families voice in systems change and transformation.
To read the report visit here: Primary Caregiver Perceptions on Child Care during COVID-19 (https://media.cmsmax.com/9p433trpk8pdaaywwkfzb/final-caregiver-perception-pulse-survey-child-care-needs-during-covid-19-fall-2020.pdf)
Establishing National Recommendations to Address Racial Health Equity in Early Care & Preschool
Healthi Kids is a member of the Policy and Systems Development Committee for the Alliance for the Advancement of Infant Mental Health (https://www.allianceaimh.org/) . As part of the committee's work, Healthi Kids is working with infant and early childhood mental health partners across the country to begin developing policy recommendations that will address early care and preschool suspension and expulsion. These policy recommendations will inform federal, state, and local organizations on how to address racist policies, through the lens of infant and early childhood mental health, that disproportionately impact Black and Brown children.
To learn more about this work, and to share your recommendations on the issue please reach out to Stephanie at firstname.lastname@example.org (mailto:email@example.com?subject=IECMH) .
* April 6 (https://www.facebook.com/events/424332515339278/) , April 8 (https://www.facebook.com/events/420664422375315/) , April 10 (https://www.facebook.com/events/960707501356532/) : Cooking up Change virtual event. Explore and provide feedback into how we can create a resident-led food policy council (https://www.healthikids.org/roc-food-policy-council) in Rochester
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