Childhood Summit Spurs Action

“There are more poor kids with issues, but there are also notable exceptions. The real question is how invested are the parents? Not really a question of blue-collar vs. white-collar or divorced vs. two parent home; it depends on the family and what it offers.” In September, Healthy Peninsula completed a one year planning grant from the Virginia Wellington Cabot Foundation to fund community engagement activities—learning from local parents, educators, and community members the resources families use, the challenges they face, and what more they need.

Through interviews and surveys, early childhood educators related concerns about young children with medical problems of asthma, obesity, chronic fatigue, anxiety, and behavioral issues that include verbal or physical aggression. Parents would like more support in the areas of positive discipline, honesty and respect, and healthy eating and physical activity for their children. They also cite the need for before- and after-school childcare, activities for toddlers, and financial assistance for childcare and preschool programs.

Healthy Peninsula’s Early Childhood Coordinator, Anne Schroth, led the asset mapping project, and, with Bob Holberg, MD, analyzed the results which have been disseminated to educators and parent participants. On November 21, all participants and the public have been invited to gather at a Summit at the Blue Hill Public Library to review the results and develop a community plan for action.