The Milwaukee Affiliate of the National Black Child Development Institute (BCDI Milwaukee) is engaged in a grassroots campaign to fight obesity in African American children.
Obesity affects 12.5 million children and adolescents in the United States. In the African American population, over 20% of African-American children are obese – two out of every 10!
Obesity increases the chances of developing serious health conditions like Type 2 diabetes and diminishes the quality of life every child should have. BCDI Milwaukee receives funding through its National affiliate’s participation in the Healthy Nutrition and Living Initiative funded by a Wal-Mart grant.
In 2011, BCDI Milwaukee participated in a pilot project with Philadelphia, PA and Greensboro, NC. The pilot’s curriculum (“My Little World” developed by Natii Wright of Baltimore, MD) is based on the current Head Start “I Am Moving, I Am Learning” model.
”My Little World” was designed for African American child care programs to promote activities that include exercise and healthy eating. For the initial pilot, BCDI Milwaukee partnered with The Next Door Foundation in Metcalfe Park.
Staff received training to implement the curriculum in their classrooms. The activities were engaging, fun, and encouraged active participation from all of the children.
Schnell Price-Lambert, President of Jo’s Daycare Academy, was so inspired by the “My Little World” program that she shared her thoughts with BCDI Milwaukee: while conducting her morning walk through the Academy, Schnell overheard music playing.
Looking in, she was amazed at the activity and joy of the children: “I just had to call and let you know how excited our children are with this CD. They are having so much fun – we need to get the CD in all of our classrooms.” Schnell added that she wants all of her teachers trained on the curriculum as well.
In October 2011, BCDI Milwaukee President Wanda Montgomery was invited to share the pilot’s success at the National conference in Nashville, TN. Wal-Mart representatives attended and, during the presentation, made a commitment to increase funding and add two additional cities (Atlanta, GA and Ft. Lauderdale, FL). Wal-Mart will also work on securing multi-year funding for this important project.
With this increased funding, BCDI Milwaukee has been able to expand implementation of the “My Little World” curriculum to another child care program, Jo’s Daycare Academy.
BCDI also added another curriculum, “Grow Green, Get Fit” (GGGF) designed by Donna Richardson Joyner, fitness expert and appointed member of the President Council on Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition under President Obama.
The site chosen for the GGGF curriculum implementation is DLH Academy in their second and third grade classrooms.
BDCI Milwaukee is excited about the opportunity to work with these programs and about the steps it is taking to help children and their families enhance their lives through healthy living – and helping them have fun while doing so!
In the very near future BCDI Milwaukee will host a series of parent education events that will be open to the public. Donna Richardson Joyner will be promoting one of them – the date, time, and location will be announced soon.
These obesity programs are just one initiative launched by BCDI Milwaukee to improve the lives of Black children and their families through advocacy and education.
To learn about other BCDI Milwaukee activities, visit: www.bcdi-milwaukee.org or call us at 1-855-653-2234.
1. Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health promotion http://www.cdc.gov/obesity/childhood/
2. Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics. America’s Children: Key National Indicators of well-Being. 2010. http://www.childstats.gov/americaschildren/tables/health7.asp
3. Whitlock, E.P., Williams, S.B., Gold, R., Smith, P.R., Shipman, S.A., Screening and interventions for childhood overweight: a summary of evidence for the US Preventive Services Task Force. Pediatrics, 116(1):e125—144.