Kennedy Child Study Center, New York, NY
The center is located in an East Harlem community with the highest obesity rate in New York City. Many KCSC families and staff have high rates of obesity and diabetes.
Introduce a Healthy and Active Living Pr
ogram (HALP) for children, families, and staff.
How They Did It
KCSC has the distinction of being one of the country’s first special education schools. It serves children who experience significant delays in learning and other areas of early childhood development.
Through HALP, the Center has introduced programs that promote physical mental, and emotional well-being. The staff receives training in yoga, nutrition, cooking, and family-style dining. There is an active parent education program that reinforces the concepts through workshops and cooking labs. For the students, there are cooking and gardening classes – one step in establishing an early love of healthy and locally grown foods.
The students have become more aware of healthy foods and new forms of physical activity. Center teachers and staff are benefiting from exposure to new wellness activities for the classroom and home, including mindfulness activities and yoga.
On KCSC’s Wish List
More money to fund the HALP programming. If the center can raise the funding, it will resume its assisted playdate program, where staff travel to students’ homes on weekends to help parents engage with their special needs children in healthy physical play.