In recent years the proliferation of poor nutrition, poverty, bullying, lack of safe streets and poor hygiene has made it clear that the main problem confronting young children is an inability, mostly due to a lack of education, about how to cope with everyday life. Fortunately, the solutions can be learned, if there is someone to teach them.
First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” campaign launched in 2010, has seen laudable strives in encouraging healthier foods in schools, better food labeling and more physical activity for children. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation reported from 2006 to 2010 that childhood obesity had been reduced by 4.7% in some parts of the country. Many places not only achieved an overall decline in obesity rates among all K-12 students, but reported the largest declines among African American males and Hispanic females.
We anticipate being able to capitalize on this momentum, and through fun, informative and interactive performances and by teaching prevention, reduce rates of sickness, disease, bullying, obesity, crime, drug abuse, and junk food dependency in a large segment of Georgetown area children.
The New Options / More Opportunities (NoMo as in “no more”) program provides an early prevention/intervention program to encourage healthy lifestyles for school-aged children K-6 via exposure to preventive materials, i .e. videos, arts & craft activities, gardening, essay contests, and festivals.
Our goal is to partner with a select number churches, day care centers and youth organizations who already have children in place whom we can influence. The topics to be presented include:
- NoMo Sickness! (Nutrition and Health)
- NoMo Disease! (Hygiene and Infectious Diseases)
- NoMo Bullying! (Anger Management/Conflict Resolution)
- NoMo Obesity! (Physical Education)
- NoMo Crime! (Crime Prevention)
- NoMo Drugs! (Substance Abuse)
A very unique aspect of our program is that of “children teaching children.” In most cases, presenters are actually talented high school students who have been recruited from the Teen Health Program Leadership Council and area high schools, who volunteer their time to show off their talent in a way that engages and interests younger children.
Each 30-45 minute session is presented in an engaging and fun manner. Staff dressed as likeable children’s characters, for example, will sing songs, play music, perform magic, perform skits, and/or share personal lessons learned about the topic at hand. Participant engagement, through questions and answers, and hands-on activities and games will be encouraged at every opportunity. Each participant will receive a framed certificate of completion after each topic is presented, so that they may proudly display it once they are home. This will also serve as a reinforcement of the lessons learned.