Healthy, whole child development and high-quality early learning go hand in hand. From birth through age eight (and beyond), kids are constantly learning by engaging with the world around them and building lifelong skills everywhere they go.
We know that kids learn best when they feel safe and supported, have opportunities for play and physical activity and are powered by nutritious food. Strong adult-student relationships improve social-emotional development and academic achievement. Kids do better in school and have improved behavior if they have healthy school meals and are physically active throughout the day. When caregivers and community are welcomed into the school environment, their engagement builds a bridge between home and school to support learning. This engagement leads to improved academic performance, student attitudes and behavior and teacher morale.
The Healthi Kids Coalition believes that EVERY child should have access to healthy learning environments and opportunities, regardless of where they live, the color of their skin or their family’s socioeconomic status. Our advocacy agenda addresses these inequities in multiple ways, building up kids’ learning environments by ensuring that families are welcomed and engaged, that teachers are supported and well-trained and that kids have the healthy tools and supports they need to learn best. Healthi Kids advocates for change that:
- Advance culturally responsive and sustaining policies in schools and early learning environments to improve quality nutrition, physical activity, and social emotional health.
- Ensure that every child has opportunities for enrichment activities in community settings and high quality out of school time opportunities after school, on the weekends, and throughout the summer.
- Support relationship building as a foundation of trauma-informed, healing centered early childhood education.
- Promote opportunities for inclusive family and community leadership in learning environments and community collaboratives.
- Advance policies and funding to support inclusive opportunities for Black and Latino fathers in all learning environments.
Learn more about our work to amend the Rochester City School District's local wellness policy here.