The proposed project will bring together the school, family, community, and local service providers to address the issues of childhood obesity caused by poor nutrition, lack of fitness, and barriers to health insurance. The chosen communities have a higher combined rate of low income families and a higher rate of poor health, including childhood obesity. HISD considers these areas to be in most urgent need of the services addressed by this grant. Research shows that physically healthy children perform better academically, children who are more active are more attentive, have quicker cognitive processing speed, and achieve higher scores on standardized academic tests than less active children" (Adams, 2013).
This proposal addresses the need to: (1) To increase physical activity, proper nutrition, and opportunities to access these services among students and their families within the school setting, home, and community to reduce childhood obesity, poor nutrition; (2) To increase the physical fitness and nutrition education for participating students and their families, within the school setting, that promote and model nutrition education and physical fitness to children; (3) To decrease the barriers to accessing healthcare services, resources, and information: (4) To work with community organizations and service providers that are culturally and linguistically responsive to the needs of the targeted communities; and (5) To train school staff to be culturally and linguistically responsive in their services to the respective targeted communities; and (6) To increase opportunities for students to improve literacy skills in the community. The goals of the project are: Goal 1: Decrease overweight/obesity rates in the community; Goal 2: Empower families to be active participants in their children's healthy development; Goal 3: Foster partnerships between families, providers, and communities; and Goal 4: Improve Access to Quality Health Care and Services. These goals and objectives incorporate and build upon the goals and objectives of Bright Futures for Infant, Children, and Adolescents and the Healthy Tomorrows Partnership for Children Program.
The proposed services to be provided will empower each campus to serve as a hub or pod where students and their families will receive medical care from a mobile clinic, dental care, nutrition classes, and exposure to books, and physical activity. Project services will also include access to a food pantry, and assistance applying for CHIP and Medicaid. All services will be provided with respect to the culture and linguistic needs of the students and families. The populations that will be served are the 1,200 early childhood students at Fonwood ECC (North Houston), Laurenzo ECC (East Houston), and Mistral ECC (Southwest Houston), and their families. This project is significant in that it will bring valuable resources to the community; education on nutrition, health care services, physical activity, and increased opportunities for literacy all in one location.
The program will be evaluated by an independent evaluator.