by Andee Edelson, Director of Early Care and Education of Randolph County Partnership for Children in Asheboro, North Carolina
The City of Asheboro was the 2016 All-America City recipient and provided a gateway for the Randolph County Partnership for Children to continue and extend our vision, “That all children enter school healthy and ready to succeed.” We believe children are our future, and the community is an essential part of their path to success. The All-America City recognition provided an avenue for further dialogue and community engagement focusing on health and wellness initiatives to combat childhood obesity.
Since last year the Partnership has been invited to participate in the next Shape NC phase, funded by the Social Innovation Foundation and Blue Cross and Blue Shield. This will allow all of our child care programs to make transformative changes in their outdoor learning environments, nutritional enhancements and physical activities. We have also partnered with Lindley Park Elementary School (pictured), Asheboro Public Library and the Randolph Health System to create Play Daze events promoting active physical play on these locations, besides our two signature Play Daze events for our early childhood community.
Realizing the importance of establishing a habit of healthy eating, the Partnership was thrilled when offered an opportunity to join a statewide Farm to Child Care collaborative. Components include: fresh produce for snacks and meals, gardening activities, field trips to farms and farmers’ markets, and taste testing (pictured: edamame taste testing). The goal is to improve healthy food access at child care programs, at home and within the community.
To further our literacy campaign, we launched the Randolph Books to Babies initiative partnering with The Friends of the Library and the Randolph Health system, providing a gift bag (book, baby’s first library card, cuddle blanket and parent literacy tips) to new moms. We are also delighted to be part of the national Little Free Library movement, with our own library proudly erected on the front lawn of the Partnership office (pictured).
Our mission is to ensure strong families with healthy, well-prepared children by galvanizing our community to advocate for and invest in their future. We look forward to the numerous opportunities and contributions we can make, to support young children and their families.