This was a partnership among the Cities of Fitchburg and New Bedford, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, Harvard University and the National Initiative for Children’s Health Care Quality
In New Bedford, we worked with the health care sector, local daycares, schools, and after school programs, and within the community to promote five goals:
- Switch from sugary drinks (like soda, sports, and fruit drinks) to water.
- Watch no more than 2 hours of screen time per day (like TV, smartphones, and hand-held video games).
- Get at least 1 hour of physical activity (including active play) per day.
- Replace sugary, salty, fried, and fast food with fruits and vegetables.
- Sleep at least 11 hours per day (ages 2-5 years) and at least 10 hours per day (ages 6-12 years).
Mass in Motion Kids developed a specific intervention for each setting to support children and their families, improve systems, and engage the community.
- Health Care: Through a change in practice at the two community health centers serving Fitchburg and New Bedford, we reached more than 7,000+ under-served children ages 2-12. We worked with children and their families over several weeks to set goals to become more active and eat healthier. Clinical staff have been trained in Childhood Obesity Learning Collaborative, and clinicians and community health workers have been trained in Be Our Voice. The Greater New Bedford Community Health Center has continued this work at their Healthy Weight Clinic.
- Child Care: We placed trained wellness mentors in 12 local day cares caring for children age 2-5 years to implement the I Am Learning curriculum and the NAP SACC guidelines. Together, these changed day care policies to give children less juice and processed foods while encouraging eating more fruits, vegetables, and water, while also providing more opportunity for active play. For a more detailed look at our work with day cares, please read our blog post.
- School/After School: Reaching more than 12,000 children in both cities, we implemented evidence-based curriculum, including Eat Well and Keep Moving (grades 4 &5), Planet Health (grades 6 & 7), and Food & Fun (grades K-5) in 30 schools and after school programs. In the spring and summer of 2013, we held a Media Competition, where New Bedford Public School students grades K-8 were encouraged to enter a video, song/rap, or artwork that answered the question “How can you be a Mass in Motion Kid?” Students addressed as many of the five goals as possible, and dozens of pieces were submitted. You can see all of the winners’ work here.
- Community: We led environmental and policy change initiatives through our coalition, specifically creating a youth-empowered media campaign reaching approximately 12,000 students age 2-12 in both cities and worked with local restaurants and markets through our Healthy Dining New Bedford and Healthy Markets Initiative to offer and promote healthier foods.We also partnered with New Bedford Parks, Recreation & Beaches to host the Summer Passport Program, where students could earn wristbands for participating in fun activities with their friends and family.
The implementation period of the program came to an end in 2015, however, evaluation is underway and we look forward to sharing the results of this work when it is available!
Newsletters – 5 Ways to Grow Healthy