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August 12, 2009 > Kidango receives Kaiser Grant

Kidango receives Kaiser Grant

Submitted By Paul Miller

Thanks to a grant award from Kaiser Permanente (Greater Southern Alameda County), Kidango will provide 250 families with preschool age children enrolled in our Alameda County Head Start preschool programs with the resources they need to live healthy lifestyles.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, data from 1976-1980 and 2003-2004 National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys (NHANES) showed the prevalence of childhood obesity is increasing. For children ages 2-5 years, the prevalence of childhood obesity increased from 5% to 13.9%.

Kidango will hire a registered dietician who will conduct workshops at Kidango Child Development Centers where each family's nutritional information (eating habits, types of food eaten, etc.) will be reviewed and analyzed. Additionally, the registered dietician will review the BMI (body mass index) of each child in the program. From this information, the dietician will assess each child's current behaviors and nutritional needs to prevent or decrease childhood obesity. The dietician will then strategize with each family to help them incorporate simple methods of increasing healthier foods and exercise into their daily routines to help in the prevention of childhood obesity.

Kidango staff in our Head Start preschool classrooms will also attend a workshop focusing on nutrition issues and how they can promote the healthy goals of the families and children while the children are in their care. Kidango's Head Start program provides year round, part and full day services for 300 children from 2 to 5 years and their families in Alameda and Santa Clara Counties. Very low-income children can access developmental and behavioral screenings, growth assessments (height and weight), dental screenings, hearing and vision screenings, nutrition assessments, home visits, parent conferences and other services that help them be healthy and successful learners.

This is the second year Kaiser has funded this vital program, which is instrumental in helping families with very young children incorporate healthy practices into their daily lives.

For more information on Kidango's Head Start program, please contact Rachelle Javier at 510-897-6932.

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