Partners In Learning wellness program recognized and supported

Published 12:00 am Thursday, July 25, 2013

SALISBURY —Partners In Learning Child Development and Family Resource Center’s Wellness Program recently received both a statewide award and financial support.
In its third year, the program has enhanced wellness for the staff, children and families, according to a Partners In Learning press release.
“Each year Partners In Learning continues to advance its mission of providing a model wellness program and ensuring quality services to all children,” said Executive Director Norma Honeycutt in the press release. “I am proud the center has a wellness director and committee that work hard to help make positive changes which took place in a short amount of time.”
The center was recently recognized at the annual conference and received the statewide Innovative Policy to Create a Healthier Environment Award from the North Carolina Child and Adult Care Food Program, Eating Smart, Moving More.
The Margaret C. Woodson Foundation also awarded the center $8,000 to support the program.
The program is overseen by Wellness Coordinator David Freeze, a wellness committee and members of the administrative staff. The hallways of the center are decorated with nutrition information and parent classes are offered for wellness education. The center has an outdoor learning environment, green house, chicken coop, and nutrition and physical activity curriculum.
The nutrition curriculum, “More Than Mud Pies,” provides both staff and children with enjoyable activities that encourage positive ideas about nutrition and food. There are 54 lessons built around the seasons of the year. Children use age-appropriate activities to learn about growth, nutrition and preparation of foods.
The physical activity curriculum is based on the Special Olympics Young Athletes program, a unique sport and play program for pre-school children. The program focuses on fun activities that are important to mental and physical growth. Children ages 2 1/2 to 7 years of age enjoy games and activities that develop motor skills and hand-eye coordination.
The staff is also involved in the program with staff development and by modeling for the children. Staff members are offered gym membership reimbursement and breaks to take time to exercise. Staff members eat the food the center serves in a family-style manner with the children. No outside food is allowed in classrooms to be consumed in front of the children.
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