Planting healthy seeds beyond the classroom

You may have heard that personal habits that most impact health are developed in childhood and follow each of us through adulthood. Several Parkview teams are collaborating with educators to help local school kids learn healthy habits when they are more likely to adopt them.

Planting Healthy Seeds is a curriculum for third and fourth grade classrooms developed by staff from Parkview’s Community Health Improvement Program and the Healthy Living team. With three years of experience in providing classroom lesson plans, program planners turned their attention to opportunities after school and during summer break. The result is Planting Healthy Seeds: After-School Edition.

As with original curriculum, Planting Healthy Seeds: After-School Edition includes education on nutrition, how to incorporate movement and activity into daily life, as well as what overall well-being looks like. The new program includes lesson plans, activities, and evaluation tools for after-school program leaders to implement as provided or with modifications. Designed to be flexible, after-school and summer program coordinators can adjust the curriculum to fit their schedule and to best support their own program’s well-being goals for the children.

“We’ve seen such positive changes for kids who have completed the Planting Healthy Seeds school curriculum,” said Kylee Bennett, school program coordinator, Parkview Healthy Living Team. “It’s exciting to offer these same experiences outside the classroom.”

During the 2017-2018 school year, Parkview partnered with nine sites from three different programs in Allen and Kosciusko counties. These programs included Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation, Fort Wayne Boys and Girls Club and the Baker Youth Club. Together, Planting Healthy Seeds: After-School Edition impacted more than 525 children. When Baker Youth Club of Kosciusko County wrapped up this year’s program, they documented a 7.95 percent positive increase in behavior change including the number of times kids ate fruit and vegetables, frequency of physical activity, as well as decreases in their recreational use of all electronics.  

When Planting Healthy Seeds concluded, kids attending the Jennings Recreation Center, a program of the Fort Wayne Department of Parks and Recreation offered these thoughts:

“The Parkview program taught me how you need to have grains, vegetables, fruits, protein and dairy in every meal.” – Jamiah, 5th Grade

“I learned that Pepsi, Gatorade and lemonade are bad to drink because of the sugar in them so they yellow your teeth and create cavities.” – Jamarcus, 3rd Grade

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