Family Fun Day at Early Head Start in Florida
Sherry Smith and her Early Head Start (EHS) Palm Plaza team in Kissimmee, Florida knew they wanted to find ways to make sustainable changes for the children and families they serve. “The EHS Palm Plaza’s interior space was limited and promoting family engagement was a challenge,” stated Smith. The team linked what they learned from the Early Childhood Education Learning Collaborative (ECELC) “Taking Steps to Healthy Success” to their “Teaching Strategies” lesson plans. “The information provided from the project provided a path to begin change. The overwhelming positive response of staff and their recognition of the importance of changing the future lives of children were contagious to the families.”
Smith and her team decided their next step was to work with families to develop an exciting Let’s Move! Family Fun Day for children, families and staff so they could experience new activities together. There were physical activities for children and adults of all ages. The day provided a model of how simple items and a few minutes a day can mean the world to each child. The event was so successful there are plans to continue to celebrate this day. The program even made a Let’s Move! Family Fun Day bulletin board that includes staff and family updates with pictures of the children.
Smith described her experience in one word, “Enlightening. There were so many things that I did not know, and the project assisted me in opening my eyes to see the need for change. The health of our children is so important.”