Celebrating Success with YES!

The Catholic Charities Diocese of Metuchen YES Program celebrated with the other wonderful grantees at the Lessons Learned Meeting held on Friday September 25th at Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Representing the program was Krista Glynn, Service Area Director Child Care; Irish Givens, Site Supervisor YES School Age Program; and Marlon Osuna, Family Worker for YES Early Learning Center. The day was filled with exciting information and networking with an opportunity to display our successes through the grant.

Looking back at the activities, policy changes, and events the program was able to implement is astounding! In addition, the teamwork and collaborations developed will be continuous. On behalf of New Brunswick, we are appreciative to have had this opportunity to provide additional outreach to families in the community and we look forward to continuing our focus towards healthy strong communities for the future!

Here some pictures to highlight our display and the day at RWJF.ShapingNJWrapUpCelebrationYES9.151 ShapingNJWrapUpCelebrationYES9.152 ShapingNJWrapUpCelebrationYES9.153 ShapingNJWrapUpCelebrationYES9.154

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The Journey to a Healthy Lifestyle will continue!

The YES Program of Catholic Charities, Diocese of Metuchen is wrapping up its last month of the Shaping NJ grant funding. We can’t believe it is that time already!

The program and community of New Brunswick has blossomed from the knowledge gained around the importance of health, fitness, and nutrition. The partnerships developed over the past nine months have been outstanding and the families have much to be thankful for.

The YES Program of Catholic Charities has been able to provide a wealth of resources and information to the families and children through the many partnerships that we have developed as well as many special activities and events. From our Health Fair to our monthly workshops to our trip to the Farmers Market, the families of New Brunswick have gained education and involvement on the importance of a healthy lifestyle. This project has strengthened some of our previous relationships as well as provided the opportunity to connect to new partners. It additionally enhanced the teamwork at the YES Program with staff from all levels. Many of the staff are already thinking about what the program can do with a new funding opportunity!

As the program wraps up the grant we look back at some of our highlights:

*Expanded partnerships and collaborations with the New Brunswick Food Corps, Rutgers Cooperative Extension (SNAP Ed), and the New Brunswick Community Farmers Market to name only a few

*Over 100 people and 65 families in attendance at our Healthy Families, Healthy Communities fair on April 11, 2015

*Healthy Eating and Physical Activity project with the YMCA

*Family workshops offered on a variety of health, fitness, and nutrition topics

*Planting new flowers and vegetables in our garden with our partners from Food Corps

*Weekly healthy eating education, activities, and supplies for 100 New Brunswick preschool children (“Color Me Healthy”)

*Father’s Day healthy breakfast

*Family Fitness Day

*Field trip to the New Brunswick Farmer’s Market

*Zumba classes for staff, parents, and children

*Landscape Assessment completed with Food Corps to assess and improve the overall school environment focused on health and wellness

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Recent Zumba classes offered to children, staff, and families of New Brunswick are one of the many activities offered as we wrap up the funding and prepare for our presentation at the September grantee meeting. The YES Program of Catholic Charities looks forward to our involvement in the gallery walk to showcase our highlights and experiences on September 25th!

Celebrating “Color Me Healthy” with Food Corp!

The YES Program of Catholic Charities, Diocese of Metuchen continues to provide opportunities of nutrition education with the families and children in New Brunswick.

Children and families enjoyed a field trip to the New Brunswick Farmer’s Market on July 23, 2015. This culminating activity as part of our “Color Me Healthy” nutrition education classes was a great celebration of our continued work on improving the knowledge of the New Brunswick community on nutrition and health.

Children, families, and staff participated in a tour of the children’s garden, enjoyed tastings of fresh fruits and vegetables, made “seed balls” with clay for planting, and took a fresh peach home to eat! All families received a $5 Market Bucks coupon to spend at the Farmer’s Market before they left.

While we were visiting, a van from Elijah’s Promise was there picking up produce to bring back to their kitchen!   Elijah’s Promise is one of several community partners that the Market serves.

Catholic Charities YES Program continues to be amazed at the energy around the subject of promoting health and nutrition within New Brunswick. This could not be possible without all of our community partners and relationships that we have developed through this project!

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Maintaining Healthy Connections in New Brunswick!

The YES Program of Catholic Charities, Diocese of Metuchen continues to make healthy connections with the families and children in New Brunswick. As the summer is upon us, the program continues to plan multiple activities focused around health and nutrition. In June, the program offered a Father’s Day healthy breakfast and nutrition activities in partnership with the New Brunswick Food Corps.

Supplies for garden and Farmer’s Market activities were purchased as part of the summer program offered to over 100 children in July and August at the Catholic Charities YES Program. Additionally, our garden continues to grow and flourish as we water and nurture our plants and flowers.

The YES Program continues to plan a Family Fitness Fun Night in July which will include a Zumba class as well as a field trip to the local Farmer’s Market this summer. Additional cooking classes will be provided towards the fall in collaboration with Elijah’s Promise.

Feedback from community partners and families continues to show positive involvement in the projects and accomplishments in educating the community of New Brunswick on the importance of health and nutrition.

Here is one comment:

“The parents like learning about ways to eat healthier for them and their children and they found out some nutritional facts they never knew, which was good.”

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A gardening we will go, a gardening we will go!

The YES Program of Catholic Charities, Diocese of Metuchen is excited for spring and better weather ahead. With the weather breaking we have been able to begin our preparation for our planting. Through our new collaboration with the Food Corps and New Brunswick Farmers Market the children have been enjoying a variety of weekly activities surrounding healthy eating, cooking, and gardening projects. The classrooms have been busy implementing these activities since March and they have been thoroughly enjoyed!

The planting has begun for our sunflowers, tomatoes, peppers, and cucumbers with the help from our Food Corps friend, Ms. Reyes. Additionally, healthy snack activities were enjoyed by the children surrounding the discussion on vegetables. Participation has been at 100%. Information and feedback on the activities implemented will be collected once the classes begin to wrap up.

Thus far, the program has enjoyed the new partnerships and expanded focus on health and nutrition through our Healthy Families Community Day in April to our partnership with 4-H and the YMCA on healthy options and physical activity ideas. The excitement for this project has been overwhelming and staff have really worked as a team to enhance the education of the community and our families on this important topic.

The program continues to plan for upcoming activities focused around health and activity. Plans for a Father’s Day Healthy Breakfast in June, a Family Fitness Fun Night in July, and workshops surrounding preparing healthy lunches are some of the events being discussed.

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