Greater Lawrence Healthy Families Healthy Children

NEWS UPDATE: Megan McKinney Cooper, communications director for JumpIN for Healthy Kids from Greater Lawrence, Indiana talked with APHA's David Richards about childhood overweight and obesity, and how JumpIN is taking a holistic approach to childcare to reverse obesity rates. Listen to Episode 1: JumpIN for Healthy Kids of the Healthy Communities Podcast

Location: Greater Lawrence, Indiana, population 106,349

The Problem: It is reported that a large number of children ages five and up experience poor dietary intake and low levels of physical activity.

Read Amanda's story and Sharrona's story.

smiling kidsHealthiest Cities & Counties Challenge Approach: The Greater Lawrence Healthy Families Healthy Children Initiative is a campaign to create healthy environments where children and their families have the opportunity to make healthy choices and help children achieve and maintain a healthy weight. This initiative will target Greater Lawrence, a socio-economic, racial, and ethnic diverse community outside of Indianapolis, and will create a community space where healthy choices become the easy choices.

Gaining Momentum
April 2017 — More than 6,460 students in grades 3-12 from 17 schools (Lawrence Township and IPS) completed the Student Health Assessment Questionnaire, providing a snapshot of their typical eating and physical activity habits. This baseline data can be used to demonstrate how behaviors change over time as a result of our cross-sector interventions. Additionally, Lawrence Township Schools introduced fruit and yogurt parfaits and fun "bananagram" messages, among other items, to encourage students to eat healthy. The Benjamin Harrison YMCA celebrated Kids Day on April 29 with activities and giveaways that support kids' health; the open house was free and introduced the community to active summer program opportunities for kids.

yogurt parfaits and bananas

smiling people looking at whiteboardHealthy Workplaces
March 2017 — We are actively recruiting small to medium sized businesses in Greater Lawrence/Far East Indianapolis to participate in our employer wellness coaching program and other workplace initiatives. All employers — regardless of geographic location — can also work alongside us at their own pace to launch or expand their workplace wellness programs. We’ve just launched a series of workplace wellness guides and website pages to support these efforts.

Child Care Provider Training
February 2017 — Twelve child care providers began participating in the established Taking Steps to Healthy Success training program to promote healthy habits. Several of these are licensed in-home child care providers, and some are primarily Spanish-speaking households, so we’ve expanded the number of family oriented Spanish resources in our Resource Hub as one way to support them.

Early Accomplishments
January 2017 — Schools, child care providers, and others are already working to promote healthy habits and create healthy environments in Greater Lawrence/Far East Indianapolis. Learn more about the neighborhood and the project’s early accomplishments in 2016.