The South Texas College Mid-Valley Campus Child Development Center received a $5,000 grant from the Texas Department of Agriculture and designed the E3@STC project that was established at the beginning of the 2012 fall semester to promote exercise and good eating habits for the children and families served by the center in Weslaco.
“The Texas Department of Agriculture offered the grant to all childcare centers to incorporate healthy eating and exercise because of the obesity problem that exists in our society,” said STC Mid-Valley Campus Child Development Center Manager Maria Lozano. “It promotes better eating habits, incorporates a healthy eating lesson once a month in the lesson plan, we do training with parents on the same thing, including planning, to avoid obesity.”
The E3@STC project complements the current curriculum at the child development center by using the KID-FIT© curriculum, which has undergone a national study and has proved to make an impact on the comprehension and positive experiences of children’s overall health, nutrition and physical growth.
In conjunction with STC’s Wellness Center at the Mid-Valley Campus in Weslaco, trainers have implemented the KID-FIT© curriculum as part of the classroom’s weekly routines as designed by the KID-FIT© program. Sixty children between the ages of two and five years old are currently being served.
The classroom instructors reinforce the wellness information by incorporating sections of the weekly lesson within their daily routines. The children exercise for 30 minutes once a week at STC’s Mid-Valley Campus Wellness Center. Also, two “Family Wellness” sessions throughout the year provide parents the opportunity to join their children in a regular lesson and test the parent’s knowledge about the best choices for their children and overall health and wellness.
“The kids are really enjoying it and the parents love it,” said Lozano. “They get to work with a certified trainer.”
In addition to the curriculum implemented into the E3@STC project, the child development acquired most of the equipment needed to get the project off the ground through the grant.