Carver County SHIP | August Newsletter

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Carver County Public Health Newsletter

Carver County Statewide Health Improvement Partnership (SHIP)

We Share Our Air

We Share Our Air

Carver County Public Health partnered with child care providers and Carver County Child Care Licensing to promote their commitment to providing space that is free from tobacco and secondhand smoke. A window cling with a uniquely designed tobacco-free image was created for home based child care providers who agree to designate their site as tobacco-free. During scheduled licensing visits, the child care provider is given a window cling which acknowledges the children in their care are not exposed to tobacco smoke. In addition, these providers are recognized as tobacco-free providers on the Finding Childcare in Carver County visual map, which can be accessed by visiting the Carver County Licensed Child Care Licensing webpage.

The majority of children in Minnesota spend at least part of their day in care outside of their homes. Secondhand smoke damages the body and has especially harmful effects to infants and children, whose bodies are still developing. By designating their sites as tobacco-free, these child care providers are creating a safe and healthy space for children to grow and learn.  Since the project started in January 2017, 43 providers have designated their site as tobacco-free, ensuring that over 1,000 infants, children, parents and providers are safe from the dangers of tobacco exposure.

Intern Spotlight

Child Care Gardens

This summer, Katie Buckentine, a student from the University of Minnesota, interned with Carver County Public Health. Katie worked on a variety of projects for the department to promote healthy living in schools, child care centers, and more.

Katie partnered with Children of Tomorrow in Waconia and Chanhassen to teach nutrition lessons to children. These child care and preschool centers worked with SHIP to build on-site gardens for the kids to do hands-on learning about nutrition and agriculture. Katie’s lessons were fun and engaging and helped to keep the children excited to harvest their gardens later this summer.

Katie also worked with schools to implement Smarter Lunchrooms strategies to increase student participation in school lunch and to improve consumption of healthy food. Along with SHIP staff, she completed assessments of lunchrooms and provided each school detailed examples of how to promote healthier options, such as by placing fruit in colorful baskets near the cash register or by placing healthy beverage options at eye level.

This fall, Katie will start her final year at the U of M. She is majoring in Nutrition with the career goal of becoming a Registered Dietitian.

Eastern Carver County Schools Support Breastfeeding Employees

Victoria Elementary

Eastern Carver County Schools covers the eastern portion of Carver County, including the cities of Chanhassen, Chaska, Victoria and Carver. Eastern Carver County Schools serves approximately 9,300 students and 1,600 staff, and offers three high schools, three middle schools and eight elementary schools.

A long-time Statewide Health Improvement Partnership (SHIP) grant partner, Eastern Carver County Schools prioritized the creation of a private lactation space for breastfeeding employees at each site/building during the 2016-2017 school year. Human Resource Department staff met with school district leadership in fall 2016 to discuss the opportunity. District buildings designed a space that met their specific needs.

Most buildings were able to create a private, dedicated lactation room while a few created a lactation space within an existing room, creating a multi-use space. Some school buildings and the District Education Center plan to allow visitors and parents access to the lactation room/space when it is needed. Eastern Carver County Schools created a dedicated lactation room at 11 (64 percent) of their district buildings throughout the recent school year. 

Interested in Partnering with SHIP?

Technical assistance, funding and additional resources are available for SHIP projects related to increasing access to healthier foods, creating opportunities to increase physical activity, and decreasing the use of and exposure to tobacco products. Potential partners include, but are not limited to: worksites, community organizations, community centers, booster clubs, cities and towns, churches and faith-based institutions, and after-school programs. Possible funding opportunities are listed here. Please email with interest or questions.

News and Upcoming Events

August is National Breastfeeding Awareness Month. Breastfeeding is important for the health and well-being of children and mothers. Check out the Minnesota Breastfeeding Coalition to learn more about supporting breastfeeding to promote healthy babies, families, and communities.

Backpack Give Back Event

Love INC has partnered with Discovery United Methodist Church to provide backpacks & school supplies  to any student Pre-K through 12th needing them, as long to students live within the District 112 boundaries. The backpacks will be distributed at Discovery United Methodist Church on August 18th and 19th. To learn more or to refer someone to the ministry, please click here: Love INC Backpack Give Back Ministry.

Farmers Market

Check out your local Farmers Market!

Farmers Markets improve access to healthy foods and give farmers a place to sell their produce and educate shoppers on why food, agriculture and nutrition matter.Visit a market near you: Bongards Market, Chanhassen Farmers Market, Chaska Downtown Farmers Market, and Waconia Farmers Market.

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