OH WHAT A FEELING!
I am writing this blog on such a high! Just back from our Shaping Elizabeth Work Group Meeting.
I wish I could pass the good vibes that I am feeling through the blog. The conversations, honesty, successes and commitment that were shared were both rewarding and exhilarating.
At the meeting the Playstreets Team and Corner Store Team shared their success, challenges, plans for the future and a call for action with the group through pictures, anecdotes, data and stories. Below is a link to lessons learned and future planning for our playstreets initiative. Next year bigger and better is already in planning stages. Healthy Stores is plugging along and 2 organizations signed on to support the project with stores in their area that they have relationships with. Dates were set to make those connections.
We also shared our nutrition education program “Eat Healthy, Be Active Community Workshops” coming this fall. A nutritionist will be hired next week and organization has already signed up to provide space and most importantly people to attend. This program is funded through The Elizabethtown Healthcare Grant.
In 9 months we have formed “working collaborations” not just paper collaborations that benefited the community. Playstreets brought together City of Elizabeth, The Gateway Family YMCA, 3 council people, 1 Freeholder, WellCare Inc., Union County Community Food Bank, City of Elizabeth Health Department and several organizations in participation, in-kind support and donations
Impacting over 350 children and adults with 3 play streets. In addition we feel we can use the Playstreets events as a model of engagement and a change agent for the community.
Currently we have 1 Corner Store Signed up and 2 more in the works. We also received a grant from the Food Trust to be able to supply nutrition education, taste testings and equipment to committed owners.
We shared an exercise from our Robert Wood Johnson Center for Creative Leadership Training on Direction, Commitment and Alignment. The discussion that followed and the information from the team was inspiring and will help set future direction.
My final thought comes from one of our participants, I am paraphrasing: She stated that Shaping Elizabeth was her community team of choice to attend – she went on to say – the spirit of collaboration, the support for each other and the meeting organization was valued by her and her organization.
What could be better than that! Can You Feel it!