New Program Gets Pittsburg Neighbors Moving

ECRG_800x532Improving the playground at De Anza Park in Pittsburg was just the beginning for the East County Regional Group.

Newly funded with a $20,000 from the Kaiser Permanente Northern California Community Benefit Program, this dedicated group of parent advocates we sponsor are launching Pittsburg PACE (Parks, Activities, & Community Engagement) with a series of activities designed to increase physical activity among young children and families in Pittsburg’s Trident/De Anza Park neighborhood. Continue reading

Sugar Bites is Back with New Ads

We’re running our Sugar Bites ads this summer to remind parents that serving water instead of sugary drinks is the healthiest option for quenching their children’s thirst.

The ads, which focus on soda and sugary juice drinks, are running in Concord and San Pablo at bus shelters, convenience and grocery stores, gas stations, and on County Connection buses.

And for the first time, we were able to place printed window clings directly on refrigerated beverage cases in about 40 convenience stores and gas stations.

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Sugar Bites Highlights: Round 2

The second cycle of our Sugar Bites campaign was another success. This time we focused primarily on sugary juice drinks, which many parents didn’t know contain as much or more sugar than soda.

The second campaign included many of the strategies used in round one, such as BART, convenience stores, and bus shelter ads as well as posters and brochures distributed through WIC, Head Start and our funded programs. We also tried a few new things in round two:

Billboards:

We placed ads on billboards on major highways in Pittsburg and in neighborhoods throughout Richmond.

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First 5 Volunteers Help Make Concord Streets Safer

Concordgroup2There are two new sets of stop signs and crosswalks at Laguna and Detroit and Sunnyside and Detroit in Concord, thanks to a community-driven effort in which a dozen members of our Central County Regional Group played a critical role.

Last August, Regional Group members joined staff from Contra Costa Health Services, Michael Chavez Center/Monument Community Partnership, the City of Concord, County Connection and the National Environment Protection Agency to conduct a “walk audit” of Detroit Avenue.

Many families with young children in this neighborhood walk along Detroit Avenue to take their kids to school, go to work, and run daily errands.  The group’s audit revealed that speeding drivers, unmarked crosswalks, sidewalks in poor condition, and dangerous placement of bus stops make it unsafe for families who walk or bike, especially the Laguna/Detroit and Sunnyside/Detroit intersections because of their proximity to Meadow Homes Elementary and the Concord Child Care Center. Continue reading

Ring in the New Year with Healthier Snacks

The Delta First 5 Center, located in Brentwood, implemented a new nutrition policy last year.  Perhaps your organization may want to consider ringing in the New Year by adopting a new healthful snack policy.

Here’s Delta’s nutrition policy, which has been embraced both by the Center’s staff and families. The Delta First 5 Center:

  • Will not serve sugar-sweetened beverages, including 100% fruit juice, to children at any of the Center’s activities, events or celebrations.
  • Will provide low-calorie whole grain cereal snacks on a daily basis and fresh fruits and vegetables when possible.
  • Will serve whole fruit slices in place of 100% juice or flavored punch when possible.
  • Will always provide water free of charge for children and their families.
  • May provide additional beverages for children including healthy alternatives such as carbonated water (flavored or unflavored) without sweeteners and non-fat or 1% milk (plain, not flavored).

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Kaiser’s $1 Million Grant to Help Monument Community

Healthy OptionsAs an active participant in Healthy and Active Before 5, I am thrilled that our collaborative in partnership with the Monument Community Partnership (MCP) has received a rolex replica watches three-year $1 million grant from Kaiser to fight obesity in the Monument Corridor.

The investment is part of Kaiser Permanente’s new $10 million HEAL (Healthy Eating Active Living) Zones initiative designed to make healthy choices more accessible to people in underserved communities.

In the Monument community, overweight and obesity rates at most local elementary schools range from 36 to 61 percent. As a direct result of the obesity epidemic, children’s doctors are seeing a significant rise in chronic illness in children. Obese children are more than twice as likely to have type 2 diabetes as children of normal weight. Continue reading

First 5’s New Nursing Room

Breastfeeding RoomWhat better time than World Breastfeeding Week for First 5 Contra Costa to unveil our first designated break room for nursing mothers!

First 5 Contra Costa has always been supportive of nursing mothers who need break time to express milk, but we haven’t had a private room specifically for this purpose. Four years ago after I returned from maternity leave, my colleague just posted a sign on my office door that said, “If this door is closed, DO NOT DISTURB.” While that was effective, it certainly wasn’t ideal – especially for nursing employees without offices.

But after a not-so-extreme makeover of a cluttered storage closet last month, First 5 Contra Costa now has an inviting, clean, and private space for nursing moms. Continue reading