The Maine Event: The We Can!® Debut Made For One Busy Summer!
Posted October 5‚ 2010
It was an eventful summer in the great state of Maine, and We Can! was the main attraction, with We Can! community site additions and a surge of We Can! activity.
It all started this past spring when the University of Maine Cooperative Extension hosted a We Can! training in Augusta, which attracted over 100 participants. Prior to the training, Alan Majka, MS, RD, Assistant Extension Professor at the University, worked to coordinate a We Can! coalition with local organizations, partners, and surrounding counties to promote healthy lifestyle choices to residents. Since the successful training, We Can! has spread throughout the state at warp speed.
In June, Washington County joined as the first We Can! County in the state, and was quickly followed by Kennebec County. Additionally, two general community sites in Maine joined the We Can! program this summer.
From left to right:
Renee Page, School/Youth Program Manager,
Healthy Communities of the Capital Area
George M. Jabar, II, Kennebec County Commissioner, District 3
Nancy G. Rines, Chairman, Kennebec County Commissioner, District 2
Beverly Daggett, Kennebec County Commissioner, District 1
Alan Majka, Assistant Extension Professor, University of Maine Cooperative Extension
Currently, in Kennebec County, Majka is working with sixth-grade teachers at Waterville Junior High School to implement Media-Smart Youth: Eat, Think, and Be Active!®, and his colleague, Wendy Lagasse, is using the S.M.A.R.T. program with third-graders in Waterville. Majka is also using CATCH Kids Club to improve physical activity and nutrition education in three afterschool programs that serve high-risk youth.
In Washington County, Eleody Libby is working with several local organizations and partners to implement a variety of activities, including youth and parent education sessions, afterschool programs, events that promote physical activity and healthy lifestyles, and family cooking classes. Additionally, Kristie LeBlanc of Somerset Heart Health is working with Majka and local school systems to implement We Can! youth and adult curricula.
Community sites in Maine have accomplished a great deal, and they are just getting started! Majka, who acts as the statewide coordinator for We Can!, is planning for more curricula implementation, more community site additions, and continued promotion of the We Can! program at events and conferences throughout the state. Stay tuned to see which Maine County carries the We Can! torch next!