City and County Sites
We Can!® created a city/county program in 2007 so that local government leaders could join our movement at the highest participation level—running programming with the help of partners, conducting multiple events and trainings, and promoting them through the media.
The first group of cities and counties registered to become part of the program in May 2007. Since that time, many more have followed their lead, and played two invaluable roles:
- By showing support for the We Can! program at the top level of local government, they’ve mobilized community members to help children maintain a healthy weight
- They’ve inspired other cities and counties to do the same through their successes
When a city or county joins the movement, there some specific benefits beyond signing up for a unique and successful program. They include:
- Recognition by the National Institutes of Health
- Having the city/county’s efforts and successes featured in the We Can! eNewsletter, on the website, and in other We Can! publications
- Access to technical assistance in planning and coordinating programming and kickoff events
- Access to national We Can! representatives and exhibits for kick-off events
- A free starter kit, plus 15 percent off additional copies of select program materials ordered through the NHLBI Information Center
- A free We Can! city/county road sign
- All the benefits of being a community site
By registering with the program, municipal leaders promise to complete the following activities over the course of one year:
- Announcement of their city’s and/or county’s commitment to the program through a letter of commitment from the mayor or county executive (30 KB) to We Can!
- Public announcement of the program through a proclamation (145 KB) by the mayor or county executive and/or launch events
- Provision of information about We Can! or its activities to city/county employees
- Four or more We Can! parent programs/curricula
- Four or more We Can! youth programs/curricula
- Four or more We Can! community outreach events
- Promotion of the site as a We Can! City/County to local media and stakeholders
- Recruitment of and collaboration with local partners to implement We Can! programming
- Submission of an abstract and photos of We Can! activities
Completing the First Steps to Becoming a City or County
If you’re wondering whether our movement is the right fit for you, you may wish to read some of the case studies from registered We Can! cities and counties:
- 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 start by first becoming community sites, which have a less intensive level of programming. For more information on other programming options, see our Types of Community Sites page.
- 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 (40 KB) we’ve designed for presentation to city and county leaders.
- Sign up to become a We Can! City or County Community Site and receive your complimentary starter kit.
- 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 (30 KB).
- Confirmation. Once the National Institutes of Health 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 website, receiving an official We Can! road sign, and more. We recommend that you start planning your launch event at this juncture.