Healthy eating and physical activity solutions for kids

HKC On the Road: Hays, MT

After a quick breather back home following the Denver training, it was off to Hays, Montana, population approximately 800 and Lodgepole Elementary School. Just forty five minutes south of the Canadian border, on the Fort Belknap Indian reservation, and in a very remote but beautiful location, I enjoyed time with staff who serve a very diverse population with a wide range of challenges from poverty to diabetes, limited services, and need for health education.

The bitter and long winter makes travel and outdoor active play more difficult thus requiring an emphasis on keeping kids active indoors at school a fair part of the school year. They are a great PEP grant recipient! I am not sure I have spent a day with 12 more passionate staff and community partners than I did that day in Montana. They are proud of their successes and eager to improve and grow their efforts for the kids and their families.

The diabetes prevention team from the community, along with the SNAP-Ed staff member joined the training furthering the potential for wide range education and healthy changes for these families. I enjoyed lunch at the school and was delighted to see items such as fresh grapes, along with a salad bar eagerly enjoyed by students and staff!!

It was a wonderful day of laughter, learning, and sharing that ended with much enthusiasm and planning for the days ahead! Keep an eye on this team, they are making a difference!

Before the next workshop, it’s time to reflect on a wonderful 2014 and all that I have been so richly blessed with throughout the year. May we all take time to appreciate our world, and be especially grateful that there are so many working hard to help kids be their very best!