KCUR News
10:50 am
Mon September 29, 2008

New Curriculum Takes On Obesity In Preschools

Kansas City, MO – The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services currently reports that one out of every three Missouri children is overweight. But area Head Start programs are now rolling out a new curriculum in order to address that. KCUR's Elana Gordon has more.

About 500 local head start teachers, all dressed in sweats, recently took part in a training on a new preschool curriculum. Liz Smith is the Mid-America Head Start manager of child, health, and development services throughout Jackson, Clay, and Platte Counties. She says it's good that kids run around on their own, but the new curriculum, called I am Moving, I am Learning,' focuses on increasing physical activity inside the classroom.

Smith: We want to have some good strategies to encourage lots of different types of movement - and for our teachers to understand what those various stages of movement are, and how to teach a child to throw a ball just like you teach a child what the letter 'A' is."

Smith says kids develop habits at an early age, so she hopes the new curriculum will encourage them to stay active as they get older. She also says Head Starts across the country are planning to adopt the same curriculum, but that Kansas City is one of the first places to actually do so.

Funding for health care coverage on KCUR has been provided by the Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City.

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