The county of Armstrong, PA, has joined the We Can! movement as the very first We Can! County. The county launched its new school-based childhood obesity initiative called HEALTHY Armstrong in late September and is incorporating We Can! into its activities to meet its goal of reducing childhood obesity in Armstrong County.
HEALTHY stands for Healthy Eating, Active Lifestyles—Together Helping Youth and is a collaboration of University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) Health Plan, Children's Community Pediatrics—Armstrong, Armstrong Center for Medicine and Health (ACMH) Hospital, ACMH Hospital Foundation, and the Armstrong School District.
The program, which uses the We Can! CATCH curriculum, began as a pilot effort at Elderton Elementary School and is now being expanded to the other schools in Armstrong County. It includes after-school and weekend healthy activities, which include physical activities, snack-making advice from a nutritionist, and additional teaching about wellness.
The HEALTHY Armstrong kick-off event included a variety of speakers and featured a “spokes-family” who endorsed the benefits of the We Can! program. The event also had representatives from all of the HEALTHY Armstrong collaborating partners. The high-energy event included music and physical activity for the several hundred school-age children who attended.
The Armstrong County Commissioners received a We Can! County sign that reads, “We Can! CountyUSA—Working with the National Institutes of Health to promote healthy weight, healthy children.” Armstrong kept the momentum going by hosting a 2K walk for families two days after the launch event.
We Can! and the We Can! logo are trademarks of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).
We Can! Energize Our Families: Parent Program – A Leader’s Guide, is a four-lesson curriculum with dynamic activities for parents to encourage a healthy weight in their family.
We Can! offers a variety of resources and materials, including a community toolkit, parent handbook, posters, print ads, and wristbands.