Since its inception in 2009, KIDS’ FANS has grown significantly in the community as a resource for teaching healthy behaviors to children. As of 2018-2019, KIDS’ FANS was taught in 39 sites* and reached nearly 3,500 children.
In addition to schools, KIDS’ FANS is taught in summer camps, after-school programs, community sites, and health fairs.
In 2018-2019, KIDS’ FANS partnered with Vita Health and Wellness Initiative, Fairgate Farm, and the Boys & Girls Club of Stamford to pilot a “Cooking with Kids” program which introduced farm-to-table cooking classes to 5th and 6th graders. The program received funding to hire a professional chef and was co-taught by the manager of Fairgate Farm to reinforce the connection between foods that grow locally and the food that reaches our plates.
As children develop their food preferences in infancy, KIDS’ FANS partnered with Chelsea Piers Kids and Children’s Learning Centers (CLC), the largest childcare provider in Fairfield County, to teach nutrition education to pre-K students (ages 3–5) as well as provide nutrition classes to parents to promote a healthy home environment.
In March 2016 and 2017, KIDS’ FANS, along with the Stamford Children’s Health Collaborative, spearheaded a city-wide nutrition awareness initiative for March National Nutrition Month. The initiative included a kick-off proclamation at City Hall courtesy of the Mayor’s office, followed by a variety of free nutrition and physical activity classes and events for children and their families throughout the month of March.
KIDS’ FANS just completed its 6th year of teaching nutrition education in local summer camps from June to August. Campsites include YMCA, Stamford Recreation Camps, Boys & Girls Club, Yerwood Center, Mill River Park Camp, Chelsea Piers Leadership Academy Camp.
KIDS’ FANS continues to teach after school programs. Some of these sites also include a cooking component to expose kids to new foods as well as teach kids how to prepare simple but also healthy and affordable meals. The most recent after-school sites include YMCA, Boys and Girls Club, JCC, KT Murphy, Trailblazers, and Yerwood Center.
KIDS’ FANS is the Nutrition Consultant to CP Kids Nursery School at Chelsea Piers, Domus/Chester Addison Community Center, and the Stamford YMCA.
Community outreach is an integral part of KIDS’ FANS’ role in promoting healthy eating and physical activity and its presence at local health fairs and request for presentations remains robust and ongoing.
In accordance with the Connecticut state-mandated health curriculum, and supported by studies that show the correlation between student health and academic achievement, KIDS’ FANS hopes to fill the gap in schools, as well as in the community, by increasing awareness and improving health behaviors for students and their families.
*39 sites include: AITE High School, Boys & Girls Club, Carver Center (Norwalk), Chelsea Piers, Childcare Learning Center, Chester Addison Community Center, Cloonan Middle School, CP Kids, Davenport Ridge Elementary School, Dolan Middle School, Domus, Fairgate Farm, FISH, Hart Magnet, Jewish Community Center, Julia Stark Elementary School, K.T. Murphy Elementary School, Mill River Park, New Canaan Community Preschool, Newfield Elementary School, Northeast Elementary School, Ponus Middle School (Norwalk), Rippowam Middle School, Roger’s International, Roxbury Elementary School, Sono Ice, Springdale Elementary School, Stamford High School, Stamford Recreation, Stillmeadow Elementary School, Strawberry Hill School, Tokeneke Elementary School (Darien), Toquam Magnet, Trailblazers, Vita, Waterside School, Westover Magnet, Westhill High School, Yerwood Center, YMCA, as well as health fairs and community presentations