Contact: Stephen Durham
for Children & Families
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
McDowell’s Young Children A Little Healthier, Thanks To NAP SACC Program
Nutrition and Physical Activity Self-Assessment for Child Care (NAP SACC)
Children in four McDowellCounty child care centers are moving a little more and eating a little healthier thanks to the NAP SACC program. Those centers are First Baptist Children’s Center, FirstUnitedMethodistChurchEarlyChildhoodEnrichmentCenter, God’s Little People, and McDowellTechnicalCommunityCollegeChildDevelopmentCenter. Each of the centers made significant progress in the areas of physical activity and nutrition by offering healthier foods and drinks for their children, purchasing new playground equipment, and obtaining nutritional education materials.
The Nutrition and Physical Activity Self-Assessment for Child Care (NAP SACC) program is an evidence-based intervention developed at UNC-Chapel Hill that works to improve the nutrition and physical activity practices and policies in child care centers that impact children ages 2 to 5.
The program was carried out during the last two years and a final report of the results has just been compiled by the FrankPorterGrahamChildDevelopmentCenter at UNC-Chapel Hill and released by the North Carolina Partnership for Children.All across the state, there were 128 child care centers that participated in 10 different counties.
“About half of the programs demonstrated significant improvement in their overall nutrition practices.” They were able to accomplish this by putting healthier foods and drinks on their everyday meal and snack menus. Joy Griffith, Director of McDowell Technical Community College’sChildDevelopmentCenter, stated that “The NAPSACC program helped us see areas of our menu that we could improve to provide healthier food to our children. Interestingly, we thought we were doing good but there is always room for improvement. We are serving more beans as a protein instead of the prefried meats like fish fillets and chicken patties. The kids are finally getting used to them AND eating them!”
“About half of the programs demonstrated significant improvement in their overall physical activity practices.” They accomplished this by playing outside frequently on newly purchased, safe playground equipment made possible by the grant. Sherri Owenby, Director of First Baptist Children’s Center, stated, “We taught the children the importance of a healthy diet and physical activity. We were able to purchase new gross motor equipmentfor use indoors and outside. The indoor equipment has been especially valuable with the recent episodes of snow and cold temperatures!NAP SACC was a well-planned program that addressed teacher training, classroom implementation, family involvement, healthy choices for better health and physical activity. We truly benefited from this program.”
McDowell’s NAP SACC program was a joint effort between Burke County Smart Start and the McDowell County Partnership for Children and Families. The grant was funded by The Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (BCBSNC) Foundation.
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Pictured Above: Wanda Edwards (far right), Lead Infant/Toddler Teacher at MTCC’s Child Development Center, spends time with her students Amelia Padgett (left) and Ava McCall (middle) as they play on newly purchased playground equipment provided through the NAP SACC Grant.