WUFT News

Head Start works with UF on childhood obesity

By on September 28th, 2012

The Alachua County Public School’s Head Start program teamed up with the University of Florida on Thursday to teach parents and children about the dangers of childhood obesity.

Head Start is a comprehensive early childhood program that helps low-income families with children going to preschool in Alachua County.

Some of the features the programs offer to families include sending children to see a doctor or a dentist.

Audrey Williams, health and nutrition services manager for Head Start, said the program focuses on other aspects of children’s lives other than school or grades to make sure they are successful.

“In order for a child to successfully be ready for school, they have to have all of their needs met,” she said. “Our early childhood program focuses on the whole child, making sure they are healthy and well, so they can learn in their learning environment.”

Head Start leaders said childhood obesity has become an increasing problems in their programs.

Child obesity has risen steadily over the past decade due to several factors like the low cost of unhealthy food, chemicals in processed food and less physical activity among kidsaccording to the Center for Disease Control

The program’s kickoff event Thursday taught parents and children about obesity’s harmful effects and how they can combat it.

The forum discussed healthy food options and how to set healthy goals for families.

The children participated in a separate, interactive program that taught them how to be healthy.

Many people believe that healthy food is expensive, but Williams said there are ways for families to be healthy while living on a budget.

“There’s little things they can do on a daily basis,” she said. “It doesn’t take a lot of finances or resources.”

Jeremiah Davis, a Gainesville parent, said it is important for parents to realize these issues before it is too late.

“It’s good to start young and stay on top of things,” he said. “Once they get into middle school, times are going to change, and it’s best to be already involved so there is nothing new.”

Chris Alcantara edited this story online.

 


This entry was posted in Education, Local and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.
 

More Stories in Education

Marion County Teacher Speaks Out Against FSA Test

Ocala elementary school teacher Jeanelle Wellhoner apologized Sunday in an open letter in the Ocala Star-Banner. She said her students would fail due to the teaching styles advocated by Common Core.


infographic

High School Students Choosing High-Level Courses Over Electives

High school students like Taylor Christian choose to enroll in higher-level classes over elective courses to attract future college admission officers. This change in enrollment has resulted in fewer elective class periods for students to choose from.


Sue Legg, the chair of the Florida Project on School Choice for the League of Women

Voters of Alachua County, attends the Florida statewide education team caucus in 

Tallahassee. Legg operates the LWV education blog where she provides readers 

with resources regarding pertinent legislation.

Scott’s Education Budget Raises Concerns Over For-Profit Charter Schools

Gov. Rick Scott’s 2015-2016 “Keep Florida Working” budget has Alachua County public school educators voicing concerns over the distribution of funds allotted to for-profit charter schools. Under his budget, charter schools receive about $125,000 more per school than their public school counterparts.


[FILE] A file photograph showing an American Flag and empty student desks inside an Atlanta, Georgia school.

Florida Students Unable To Opt Out Of Standardized Testing

Excessive standardized tests have driven parents and school board members across the state to speak out. Opposition groups are pressuring legislators to change the testing policies.


A student walks by the engineering building on the UF campus. Students in STEM majors (science, technology, mathematics and engineering) could have a chance to alleviate student debt through teaching with a new bill moving through the Florida legislature.

Loan Forgiveness Bill Hopes To Benefit STEM Graduates

A bill introduced by Rep. Ed Narain would pay up for to $16,000 in student loan debt for qualified candidates. Candidates must be a graduate of a state university, obtain a teaching certificate, be employed by a school district and teach any STEM subject at a public school within Florida for at least eight consecutive years.


Thank you for your support

WUFT depends on the support of our community — people like you — to help us continue to provide quality programming to North Central Florida.
Become a Sustainer
I want to support FM 89.1/NPR
I want to support Florida's 5/PBS
Donate a Vehicle
Day Sponsorship Payments
Underwriting Payments