NORTH CONWAY, NH – The Memorial Hospital Foundation recently supported Vaughan Learning Center with funds for gross motor equipment for growing early childcare needs. New Hampshire licensing requires early childcare centers provide 60 minutes of gross motor play daily. This can be a hard task when students are forced inside due to rain, severe cold or heat and humidity.
According to Vaughan Center director, Heather Ouellette, “Gross motor skills are important to enable children to perform everyday functions such as running, walking, climbing, catching and throwing. Without gross motor skills children often struggle with many day-to-day-tasks such as eating or getting on and off the toilet.” To help supplement their need for equipment Ouellette reached out to her community partner to apply for Memorial Hospital Foundation support, working with the hospital’s Let’s Go! 5-2-1-0 Community Program Coordinator Heather Phillips.
Let's Go! 5-2-1-0 encourages families to eat well by partnering up with child care providers in town to start young kids eating healthy.
5-2-1-0 promotes four straightforward guidelines for leading a healthier life: each day, families should eat at least five servings of fruit and vegetables per day, limit screen time to two hours, have at least one hour of physical activity per day and avoid sugary drinks in favor of water. In addition, children under age two should have no screen time and televisions and computers should not be located in bedrooms.
“These simple messages are supported by scientific research for their ability to increase healthful behaviors and improve weight status in children,” says Phillips.
She furthered, “Vaughan Learning Center is an incredible example in our region of an organization that has taken these evidence-based strategies of success and implemented them into their wellness policy and daily childcare practices. Their work and commitment has also earned them Gold recognition status, the highest recognition within the Let’s Go! program. For more information, visit them online at https://letsgo.org.
The funds for this initiative were provided from the Memorial Hospital Open Golf Tournament, which donated over $50,000 last year from the annual event in support of Let’s Go and other community health programs. The 2019 event is scheduled for July at the North Conway Country Club. For more information, go online to www.memorialhospitalnh.org/golf.
The 5-2-1-0 initiative was modeled on Let’s Go!, a nationally-recognized childhood obesity prevention program that launched in Maine in 2006. Let’s Go! shows promise with significant improvements in awareness of the 5-2-1-0 message, fruit and vegetable consumption and limits of sugary drinks among children in Maine. Weight status has also stabilized and is trending in the right direction among certain youth population.