Today we feature OWG guest blogger and childhood obesity consultant, Melodie Griffin. Melodie’s passion lies in the prevention of childhood obesity through the school and early learning settings. All programs Melodie promotes are fully approved by her home based lab rats, five year old son, Howie, and two year old daughter, Hope.
As a mom of a Kindergarten student, transitioning from the safety of preschool to the new (and sometimes scary) world of elementary schools can be overwhelming. There are new rules, piles of papers to read and sign, and a whole new routine to follow. As a parent, it’s easy to get lost in the shuffle and numbers of a much larger school, but I encourage you to stay involved as your student needs you now more than ever.
Recently, I had an opportunity to advocate for my child which resulted in a change and left me feeling like super-mom! While it was a small thing for the school district, it was huge in our little world. Howie’s bus stop was almost a mile from our house and in my opinion, in a dangerous spot. While waiting for the bus, I was constantly having to remind Howie and his friends to stay out of the road and also to stay out of the yards of the houses we were parked in front of. After a couple weeks of this, I thought there had to be a better option than this bus stop.
I called the school who referred me to the transportation department. The transportation department informed me I needed to talk with a supervisor. This supervisor and I played a serious game of phone tag. Once we talked, she informed me school bus stops can’t be moved and that this is just the way things are with large busses and small neighborhood streets. Not satisfied with this as a solution, we talked through it some more until we came up with a mutually beneficial option, the addition of a new bus stop in a safer place. Howie can now run and play with his friends while waiting for the bus with no worries making me a happy (and now, empowered) mom.
I encourage you to be an advocate for your child. No matter how big or small, it’s important to recognize the changes that can make a difference and help implement those changes. During September, which is Childhood Obesity Month, advocate for small changes which can result in healthy opportunities for your child. These include things like non-food based fundraisers, school-based gardens and non-food rewards in the classroom. The OrganWise Guys have numerous resources to help with these changes. Another one of my favorite resources is Action for Healthy Kids, (ww.actionforhealthykids.org) which just released an entire series on parent engagement in school based wellness. Whatever you choose to do, your child will be better off because of it.
We love this! What have you done lately to advocate for your own child? We would love to hear about it!