Yummy Success—A Collaborative Event

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Crisp County Community Council, Inc., a Georgia Family Connection county Collaborative, recently partnered with the Crisp UGA Extension Service—Family and Consumer Science (FACS) agent to host Yummy Success,a collaborative event designed to engage families with children birth through 3 years old in three areas relative to child development:

  • nutrition,
  • language nutrition, and
  • art sensory.

“In Crisp County, 21.3 percent of babies are born to mothers with less than a high school education and 43.7 percent of children are living in poverty,” said Crisp County Community Council Executive Director Sherry Evans. “The percentage of babies born with low birthweight is higher than the state’s percentage, and child abuse and neglect rates are higher than the state’s rates as well. These factors prompt us to raise awareness concerning brain development and child well-being.”

Families that participated in the event received Yummy Success passports that got stamped at each resource table. Participants who filled their passports were led to the final resource table, where the Family Connection Collaborative provided a book for each child, and an opportunity to receive door prizes that included diapers, soaps, and pack-n-plays provided by Healthy Families. Marchelle Rolle, representing her local ministry, provided hand crocheted baby blankets.

The Crisp County Health Department, in partnership with the Georgia Office of Highway Safety and Georgia Department of Public Health, provided information about vaccinations and WIC, while officers from the Crisp County Sheriff’s Office taught a car seat class on site.

In addition to those activities, Crisp County School literacy coaches read stories to children and promoted The Cougar Connection, Crisp’s new neighborhood mobile literacy lab, which conducts community wide initiatives to address literacy.

The highlight of the event, according to Evans, were the food demonstrations offered by Becca Stackhouse, Crisp Extension Services’ FACS agent. Participants learned how to use a banana as baby food, chicken pesto as a toddler finger food, and received menu planning tools.

Written evaluations of the event revealed that 100 percent of the participants who responded gained knowledge about the significance of food nutrition in their babies’ and toddlers’ diet, the importance of reading to their children, and issues of car seat safety. Participants also discovered the resources available to them in Crisp County.

Families took away from Yummy Success valuable parenting tips as well. “Reading 1,000 or more books to my child before kindergarten can help develop the brain quicker,” said one mother. Another participant learned that car seats have expiration dates. Others mentioned the easy and inexpensive food options and healthy eating tips as essential takeaways.

“Coming together as a community to address the issues of children and families is vital,” she said. “Together we can do so much more.”

Family Connection Collaborative partners providing resources and information at the event included:

  • Hand of Hope ministries,
  • Crisp County Health Department,
  • Children’s Medical Services,
  • The Gateway Child Advocacy Center,
  • UGA SNAP- Ed,
  • Cordele-Crisp Carnegie Library,
  • Crisp County Sheriff’s Department,
  • Healthy Families/First Steps,
  • Crisp Area Arts Alliance,
  • Peach State Health Plan, and
  • UGA Crisp County Extension FACS.

“Working collaboratively is our specialty,” said Evans. “We are especially grateful for lead partners who offer their expertise and creativity in presenting programs like Yummy Success, advancing the vital work to improve child health and well-being.” For more information, contact Sherry Evans at crispfamilyconnection@gmail.com.

Bill Valladares
GaFCP Communications Director

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