Contact: Natii Wright FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
SHIRE JOINS FORCES WITH DC CHARTERED SCHOOLS TO COMBAT CHILDHOOD OBESITY
Kaiser Grant to Promote Music and Movement for Young Children
Recent statistics tell an alarming story. Children in DC are becoming obese at ever younger ages and the results are frightening. Asthma is rampant and Type 2 diabetes usually seen in adults is now appearing in children as young as seven. To counter this trend, Summit Health Institute for Research and Education, Inc. (SHIRE) is teaming with the DC Association of Chartered Schools and Kaiser Permanente to take the message of staying healthy through movement to preschoolers, their teachers and parents.
SHIRE will introduce its acclaimed physical activity training program in pre-K and kindergarten classes, working with principals and teachers identified by the Association. SHIRE staff will train educators in the use of “’My Little World’ – Vol. 1, A Day in Pre-School”, which presents children’s songs set to music. The music and movements tied to the songs have proven appeal to African American and Latino children.
Natii Wright, founder of NatiiArts and creator of “My Little World,” will train educators and help them implement the program. Commenting on the receipt of the Kaiser grant, Wright stated: “This is a great opportunity to help children understand the basics for healthy living at an early age.” Ruth Perot, SHIRE’s CEO noted: “We are delighted to be able to partner with Kaiser Permanente once again to continue to promote health and wellness in the District, particularly Ward 8. We believe strongly that our children can show all of us the path to health if they are engaged at an early age.”
SHIRE has been a leader in the battle to halt childhood obesity in the District of Columbia since 2006, with a focus on East of the River. Project involving residents from this community involve training neighborhood residents as peer health educators; convening Wellness Circles and bringing together grandparents and grandchildren as partner for health. Established in 1997, SHIRE’s mission is to eliminate health disparities and work with communities of color and other underserved groups to attain optimal health.