We Can! Cities/Counties play two invaluable roles—mobilizing and supporting their community’s efforts to help children maintain a healthy weight, while simultaneously inspiring others with their remarkable commitment and success stories from participation in the program.
By joining We Can!, you too can have the potential to make a significant difference in the health and wellbeing of children ages 8-13 years old in your municipality, and in communities like yours across the U.S.
And you don’t have to go it alone.
We Can! offers you guidance on how your city or county can participate. By the same token, rising to the level of a We Can! City/County requires a commitment from you.
Below is a closer look at the who, what, where and how. Clicking on the links will speed you to certain sections.
The following are benefits that you will receive when you participate in We Can!
Participants in the We Can! City/County program are required to implement the following activities over the course of one year:
The following paragraphs describe the first steps to being a We Can! City or County.
Determine whether the City/County program is right for your community
Before signing up for the program, carefully consider the benefits and responsibilities of becoming an official We Can! City/County. While some communities choose to become a We Can! City or County immediately, many current members eased into the program by first becoming community sites, which have a less-intensive level of programming.
To determine the right fit for you, you may wish to review programming underway in existing We Can! Cities and Counties. Or, you can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for guidance.
Recruit and confirm the involvement of municipal leaders
Reach out to your mayor or county executive’s office and present your recommendation to join We Can!. Provide an introduction to the program, and specific ways that they can support your efforts. Use talking points we’ve designed for presentation to city and county leaders. Visit the Resources for Cities and Counties section of our Web site for sample talking points.
Sign a letter of commitment
Once you’ve gotten approval from your mayor or county executive, ask them to sign and submit a letter of commitment. A template letter and instructions on how to submit it to the NIH can be found in the Resources for Cities and Counties section of our Web site.
Once the NIH has confirmed receipt of your letter of commitment, your city or county will be officially designated a We Can! City/County. This includes being recognized on this Web site, receiving an official We Can! road sign, and more. We recommend that you start planning your launch event at this juncture.
If you’ve gotten to this step, congratulations! Now it’s time to celebrate your designation as a We Can! City/County and kick-off the programs.
Issue a formal proclamation
Once you receive notice that you are officially part of our program, use the template provided in the Resources for Cities and Counties section of this Web site to create a proclamation for your mayor or county executive to issue, maintain for his/her records, and share with the public to mark this notable occasion.
Consider hosting a launch event
Identify a date and venue for a public announcement of your participation in the program to local partners, media, and other audiences. Arrange for the mayor, county executive, and/or other municipal officials to participate in your event. Consider inviting key partners, parents, youth, or national We Can! program representatives to present at the event.
You can contact us at email@example.com to learn how you can invite a national We Can! program representative to participate in your launch and/or borrow We Can! banners and signs. To read about past and upcoming City/County kickoff events, visit the News section of our Web site.
Plan for the year ahead
Invite current and/or potential partners to help you map out details of how to fulfill your new We Can! City/County program requirements. Develop plans for implementing curricula for parents and youth, hosting community events, engaging local partners and media, and reaching municipal employees. You can access a Power Point presentation, the We Can! and You Can too marketing video and other resources for presenting the program to partners in the Resources for Promoting Your Program section of this Web site. There are examples of programming and training opportunities in the Get Involved section.
Run parent and youth programs & community events
We Can! City/County sites are responsible for implementing three major elements: youth programs, parent programs, and community events. It is not nearly as daunting as it sounds. With your credibility and visibility at the municipal level, you likely already have the network in place to find partners to assist you in getting the ball rolling.
Reach out to city or county employees
Current city/county sites speak highly about the benefits of distributing We Can! materials and programs to municipal employees as a way to spread the word to other audiences. That’s why it’s one of the requirements at the city/county level. One way to meet this responsibility is to host programs at municipal office buildings, or share information in local agency newsletters or on Web sites.
Build partnerships to support your efforts
We know that leading efforts at the city or county level is no small task, and that’s why we encourage you to engage partners to help maximize your existing community resources and to disseminate information. It goes without saying that the best partners are those who share your mission, strategies, values, and vision. Every community possesses a wealth of resources that can serve as potential We Can! partners—read about the partners that city leaders in Boston, MA, chose to support their programs.
Report back to us
Once you get your programs underway, be sure to update the national We Can! team on your successes and lessons learned. We will promote your activities on the We Can! Web site; feature noteworthy stories about your programs in the We Can! e-newsletter and other promotional materials; and use your input to improve the program and guide other participants. To tell us about your activities, please submit the We Can! Activity Form.
We Can! and the We Can! logo are trademarks of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).