Addressing the two key strategic imperatives of Education and Prevention, the Community Engagement team provides interactive health education activities throughout Arkansas with developed programs, presentations and targeted partnerships – all designed to help children and families make wise and informed healthy choices now and throughout their lives.
Car Seat Check-up appointments are scheduled at Arkansas Children's Hospital campus in Little Rock Monday through Friday, from 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., based on the availability of trained staff. A Child Passenger Safety Technician evaluates the current car seat, checks that it is appropriate based on the child's age and weight, ensures correct installation, and answers questions.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that infants remain rear-facing until the upper weight limit of a convertible seat (usually 30-35 pounds) as long as they are within the height requirements of the seat. At a minimum, Infants should remain rear-facing in the back seat until at least 1 yr. old AND at least 20 lbs.
Babysitting 101 provides young adolescents with the skills to be safe, nurturing and fun babysitters. Targeting all students 12 to 14 years old, this class will help participants become more confident, responsible and prepared caregivers. Babysitting 101 is taught by instructors from Arkansas Children's using the Safe Sitter curriculum and is a great introduction to the basics of babysitting. Choking Rescue, CPR and other important safety topics are addressed, but this class does not include certification in these areas.
“My favorite thing about the class was how active it was. I felt like I was doing stuff the entire time, and it was really helpful information that I had fun learning about.” - Babysitting 101 participant
Receive a guided, small-group tour of the grocery store while learning how to read labels, choose wisely, eat healthily and shop on a budget. The store tour is about 90-minutes in length and includes a lot of Q & A.
"This tour was very informative. The tips for buying produce and what's in season gave me great ideas for meals!" – Cooking Matters participant
Learn basic kitchen skills and cooking techniques, practice budgeting for meals, and receive tasty and healthy recipes. Class size is generally 8 to 10 people which is ideal for vibrant discussion and active learning. Activities are hands-on with everyone helping prepare (and eat!) the meal.
"This course made me want to eat healthy." – Cooking class participant
This nutrition education program helps teens learn how to pick out healthy foods on a budget. With a one-time classroom visit from an ACH health educator, 9th – 12th-grade students receive a virtual tour of the grocery store with food examples reviewed from various aisles (fruits and vegetables, meat and dairy, bread and grains). Topics include how to shop for healthy items, how to read food labels, and how to budget for meals. There is also discussion on making healthier choices in regard to sugar, sodium, fat, and calories.
“I learned to look at food labels to see the ingredients, so that I know what is healthiest for me.” – Pop-Up Cooking Matters participant
Love Notes is an innovative and comprehensive healthy relationship program targeting 9th-12th grade students. Participants discover how to make wise choices about relationships, sex, partners, pregnancy and more. The evidence-based curriculum, consisting of 13-lessons, builds skills and knowledge for healthy and successful relationships by focusing on key topics such as:
Lessons incorporate journal entries, hands-on activities, videos, music and more to reinforce lesson objectives. Researchers found that teaching Love Notes to teens resulted in a 46% reduction in the teen pregnancy rates compared to the control group.
“I enjoyed learning about how to keep a relationship healthy and how to communicate with my partner.” – Love Notes participant
Love Notes aligns with many Arkansas Department of Education standards which involve relationship education and is ideal for Health, Family and Consumer Science, and Dynamics of Human Relationships classes.
Love Notes empowers students to achieve healthy relationships at home and work through both knowledge and practical skills.
The Project Prevent Youth Coalition is the statewide youth tobacco prevention program, encompassing middle school, junior high and high school students. Its membership includes students in local chapters across the state. Project Prevent offers several projects and activities to engage students throughout the year, including a statewide youth conference. The activities address one of three focus areas: Prevention, Education, and Leadership. While most of the chapters involved with Project Prevent focus primarily on tobacco and nicotine, several chapters address other health issues as well. There is no cost to form a Project Prevent chapter, and some may receive resources, teaching aids and even funding to further their efforts in tobacco prevention.
The community garden on the campus of ACH was established in 2015 and is tended by a part-time garden manager along with a small but growing band of community volunteers. Each year, more than 4,000 lbs. of fresh produce was grown and harvested including tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, squash, eggplant, greens, potatoes, corn, peas, onions, carrots, beans, okra, watermelon, strawberries and blackberries. Everything grown is donated directly to Helping Hand pantry which is located nearby.
“I wanted you to know how very excellent the ACH garden is. I have seen the garden expand and flourish under Ben’s care and see room for future growth as well. The garden is a healing place and has many lessons, as well as beauty.” - Garden volunteer