It started with a Rethink Your Drink lesson and turned into so much more
How one community is walking towards health.
Young Leaders Society members raised over $25,000 to provide a new hydration station at each school in the Robla School District and give each student their own reusable water bottle. Health Education Council also provided in-class Rethink Your Drink healthy beverage education in each classroom in the district to educate students about the importance of drinking water over sugary beverages.
In addition to talking to students about the importance of drinking water, the Hydration Station Initiative also aimed at reaching parents so the message could spread at home. In October 2015, Health Education Council gathered with a small parent group at Taylor Street Elementary school to provide a Rethink Your Drink lesson. After the series of lessons were done, the parents asked “what else can we learn about?” From there, Health Education Council continued to provide various peer-to-peer nutrition education and Harvest of the Month workshops to the parents.
Eventually, the weekly nutrition education workshops turned into a weekly walking group located directly across the street from Taylor Street Elementary. The free, weekly Walk with Friends walking group was launched at Robla Community Park with the objective to provide residents with the opportunity and motivation to improve their health and ward off chronic diseases.
Since its launch in April, the group has grown from five residents to a weekly attendance of 70 residents! The Health Education Council, who coordinates the walk, also utilizes the events to help provide residents with nutrition education, health screenings and a produce distribution. Just last week, over 1,000 pounds of fresh fruits and vegetables were distributed to Walk with Friends participants!
Walking regularly is a great way to help reduce the risk of hypertension, type-2 diabetes, heart disease and other chronic disease. Walking as a group helps to build a sense of community among residents which can have many positive indirect effects, including neighborhood safety and cohesion and resident well being.
Since the Health Education Council began Walk with Friends began at Robla Community Park, the program has:
- Engaged 90 residents
- Distributed 11,474 pounds of produce
- Walked 2,214,000 steps
- Walked 1,107 miles
Interested in getting involved? Join Walk with Friends every Thursday at 8:30 am at Robla Community Park located at 625 Bell Avenue Sacramento, CA 95838. Just show up! Visit www.healthedcouncil.org/events for more information.