Summer is here, and things
are heating up for We Can! families
and community sites across the country. Our summer
e-newsletter includes information about valuable new
resources, We Can! regional
trainings, community site activities, and helpful energy
balance tips for the summer season.
Just in time for summer
meal planning, We Can! introduces
two new tip sheets and three new supplemental tools to help
families plan and prepare healthier meals.
We Can! hosted two regional
trainings – one in Roswell, Georgia, and one in South
Bend/Gary, Indiana. Each was a great success with strong
attendance and local media coverage. The events attracted more
than 200 attendees from 35 states and the District of
Columbia. The attendees included dietitians, health educators,
nurses, park and recreation professionals, among others.
The trainings also helped
boost We Can!'s reach. In the weeks
that followed, nearly 100 organizations signed up to become
We Can! community sites.
Officials from NIH and local governments
showed their support for We Can! and
enthusiastically launched the We
Can! City program. In South Bend, Dr. Judy
Monroe, the State Health Commissioner of the Indiana
Department of Health, and Phil St. Clair, Park Superintendent
for the South Bend Parks and Recreation Department received
their We Can! City designation.
Then, at a special event in Gary, Indiana, Mayor Rudy Clay
received Gary’s We Can! City sign.
The launch continued in Roswell, Georgia,
where Dr. Griffin Rodgers, Director of the National Institute
of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases presented Mayor
Jere Wood with Roswell’s designation. Upon receiving the sign,
Mayor Wood proclaimed May 3, 2007, as We
Can! Day and showcased their We
Can! City designation to the audience.
Local media in each area,
including nine newspapers, two TV stations, and seven radio
stations, covered the launch of the We
Can! City program. Coverage of the Roswell
designation by the Atlanta Journal Constitution reached nearly
two million people.
Other highlights of the trainings include a
performance by local youth of their Media Smart Youth Big
Production skits in Roswell and healthy cooking tips as
demonstrated by members of the local chefs’ association in
Much of the success of
these events was due to the hard work of on-site organizers
from the Roswell
Recreation and Parks Department, the South
Bend Parks and Recreation Department, and the Gary
Youth Services Bureau. Their steadfast dedication to
We Can! and their belief in the
program made the regional training events outstanding
successes. Because the regional trainings were so successful,
We Can! plans to conduct two more
later this year.
Today, more than 300 sites
have committed to providing We Can!
activities in their communities. This shows tremendous growth
since We Can! launched two years ago
with 14 Founding Intensive Community Sites and 20 General
Can! continues to reach out and make a
difference in the United States, Canada, Nigeria, the Northern
Mariana Islands, the Philippines, and Puerto Rico. NIH is
getting the word out about We Can!,
and community settings are signing up to join the movement.
up to become a We Can! community
site or a We Can! City.
Can!’s national coordinator, Karen Donato, S.M.,
presented at the Association of State and Territorial Public
Health Nutrition Directors (ASTPHND) conference, and at the
Protecting Health in Rural New England symposium in Hancock,
Massachusetts. State health officials who attended the New
England symposium have expressed an interest in expanding
We Can! statewide in Massachusetts,
Rhode Island, and Connecticut. Other states have shown
interest and have begun statewide activities, including
Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Indiana, and Alabama.
Later this year,
We Can! will present at two
important events. On September 30, Ms. Donato and Kathy
Cunningham from the Boston
Founding Intensive Site, will present "We
Can! Prevent Childhood Obesity: A Comprehensive
Parent-Focused Program" at the American Dietetic Association’s
national conference in Philadelphia.
On November 5, staff from
NHLBI and the National Institute of Child Health and Human
Development will present "We Can!
Helps Children Achieve and Maintain Healthy Weight" at the
American Public Health Association’s annual meeting in
Washington, DC. We look forward to connecting with you at
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Cobb Public Health
and Cobb County School District join the We Can!
After attending the
regional training in Roswell, Georgia, Stephanie Pisano
of Cobb Public Health and Cindy Culver of the Cobb
County School District joined together and signed up to
be a We Can! Intensive
Ms. Pisano and Ms.
Culver were motivated by the training and worked with
their organizations to mobilize their community. So far,
they have successfully encouraged additional community
partners and key decision-makers to get involved,
including the school district's health and physical
With the assistance
of Cobb Public Health, the Cobb County School District
is implementing the CATCH Kids Club curriculum in 68
elementary schools using 100 CATCH Kids Club kits. The
effort will combine in-class and after-school
activities, as well as intensive trainings with CATCH
curriculum developers from the University of Texas.
This new community
site's enthusiasm demonstrates how We
Can! is able to help entire cities and
counties rally around children's physical activity and
nutrition. We Can! has helped
create the necessary traction in their county to achieve
Youth Fitness Center
in Indiana Adds We Can! to its
not-for-profit fitness center that helps kids aged 7 and
older reach and maintain a healthy weight, is a new
We Can! General Community Site
in Mishawaka, Indiana. Fit-N-In learned about the
program through the We
Amy Woodcox, the
community site coordinator, is a registered nurse who is
certified in children’s fitness. She developed Fit-N-In
to help her daughter who has been overweight for 8
physical activity for kids and nutritional education for
parents. Ms. Woodcox looks forward to incorporating
We Can! into her activities
stating, "I am really excited about adding
We Can! into my program. My
focus, of course, is on the overweight child, but I
encourage all children."
Connect with We
Can! on Linked In
You can connect with
We Can! online through LinkedIn,
which is a social networking Web site, mainly used by
professionals. As of July 2007, it had more than 12
million registered users, spanning 150 industries,
including health, wellness and fitness. It provides
We Can! with a unique way to
extend its reach. Registered LinkedIn users maintain a
list of contact details for people they know and trust.
You can use the network to connect to other health
If you have a
LinkedIn profile, be sure to connect with We
Can! to help grow our network. It’s a
great way to spread the word about the We
Can! movement and get others
seasonal summer fruits and vegetables like tomatoes,
berries, peaches, and zucchini – they are low in
calories and high on taste.
Summertime is a great time for outdoor
family activities like bike-riding, swimming, and
walking. Remember to stay cool and drink plenty of
Planning a day at the beach? Be sure to
pack heart-healthy snacks for the whole family like
frozen grapes, pineapple chunks, or carrot sticks.
Stay Young at Heart
Recipe like Gazpacho – a classic
chilled tomato soup chock-full of garden-fresh
vegetables, which is cholesterol free and made with very
little added oil.