by Taki S. Raton
The Milwaukee affiliate of the Black Child Development Institute (BCDI) will host its “Family, Fun, Food & Fitness” initiative Saturday, April 9 at the Next Door Foundation, 2545 North 29th Street from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
In cooperation with Walmart, the Educare Center and the Next Door Foundation, event highlights will include health and fitness workshops, healthy food cooking demonstrations, community resource booths, gift certificates for SHARE Mobile Market Shopping and prizes.
With Walmart support, BCDI has a focus in this Saturday’s event on parents of children ages 3 to 5 to strengthen and expand pertinent information for healthy eating, food preparation, and positive lifestyle guidelines to assist cultivation of good habits in these early formative years.
“Often as parents, we are so driven to provide material things like the big house, cell phones, and the latest electronic games for our children while at times neglecting their physical needs,” says Carmen C. Ray, BCDI project advisor for the “Family, Fun, Food & Fitness” day and co-author of the title “Raising Healthy Children in an Unhealthy World.”
She adds that “while our attention might be on those matters external, we spend time chasing after things we don’t need and that by the end of the day, we may not feel up to participating in any physical activity.
All we might have energy left is for the nearest fast food drive-thru. This partnership with Walmart and NBCDI provides solutions and strategies to improve wellness for busy families.”
Invited resource partners sharing community services to parents include The American Cancer Society,
The Milwaukee Fatherhood Initiative, Chef Deborah of “Expressively Your Personal Chef Service”, Children’s Hospital, the Blood Center of Wisconsin, and Randy Dillion of Strictly Fitness.
The SHARE Mobile Market will be available to introduce attendees’ to healthy foods at affordable costs. The Mobile Market brings high quality foods to metro Milwaukee neighborhoods where families can save 30 to 50% as compared to retail prices.
Local community based organizations partner with the Mobile Market’s mission to provide food products to areas that may be underserved by traditional grocery store outlets and to assist in the elimination of barriers preventing families to take proactive control of their diets and to further encourage healthy eating habits.
SHARE Mobile Market gift certificates valued at $25 will be available for food purchases on Tuesday, April 19 from 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. at the Next Door Foundation location. Parents must, however, be present at the April 9 workshop to register and take advantage of this offering.
“BCDI-Milwaukee is pleased to partner with Next Door Foundation, the Educare Center and Walmart to present this health initiative to children and families in Milwaukee,” says BCDI president Ann Terrell.
“This opportunity to provide strategies for healthy options for the everyday activities of meal preparation and exercise for children and the adults in their lives is invaluable and we look forward to continue offering these wonderful initiatives for our community,” she notes.
Since its chartering fourteen years age in November 1997, the BCDI-Milwaukee Affiliate has been instrumental in advocating and promoting the quality of life for children of color and their families in the Milwaukee community.
The organization positions, according to their website, that every African American child “has the right to live, learn, and grow in a safe environment and to develop a positive self-image.”
Citing such unique stressors as poverty, violence, mental health, child abuse, neglect, educational issues and teen pregnancy that African American children face in American society, BCDI is committed to help overcome such challenges and resultant obstacles that might prevent children from reaching their full potential in life.
The Black Child Development Institute-Milwaukee Affiliate is a member of the National Black Child Development Institute, Inc. Established in 1971, the purpose of NBCDI is to improve and protect the quality of life for African American children and their families by providing supportive services, workshops and resources.
Organizational program target areas include Early Care and Education, Health, Elementary and Secondary Education, Child Welfare, and Parenting.
The Milwaukee affiliate for the first time in its 14-year history was presented the award for the “Largest Affiliate Membership” at the 40th Annual Conference for the national Black Child Development Institute last August in Anaheim, California.
Active area participation grew from 30 to a now recorded 180 members according to the BCDI out-going president, Wanda Montgomery.
For additional information on and registration for this Saturday’s BCDI event at the Next Door Foundation, please call Sunny Peete at (414) 562-2929, ext. 145.