A Houston/Harris County Childhood Obesity Prevention Collaborative   

Early Care & Education/Out
-of-School Time Sector Edition 
Issue No. 10       

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Shady Oak Christian School is a child-centered program established in 1987, with Preschool, Bridge and Kindergarten classes.  Shady Oak is located in Richmond, TX and accepts children ages 3 through kindergarten age. At Shady Oak, they try to live out practices and policies that are created with the wellness of children, families, and staff in mind.

Shady Oak is known locally, throughout Texas, and the U.S. for its natural "playscape" playground. In 2003, Rusty Keeler, nationally-known playground consultant, worked with the school to create a wonderful outdoor space that attracts adults as well as children. Visitors from all over the Houston area, including local college students, have come to tour and study the components of a "play environment for the soul". Their preschool playground is the only Texas playground featured in Rusty's beautiful book, Natural Playscapes (Exchange Press, 2008).
According to Ms. Joyce Trigger, Owner and Director of Shady Oaks, "it is important to make your center a place of wellness." When asked her motivation for creating a center focused on health and outdoor play, Ms. Trigger mentioned that her property sits in the shade of Richmond's oldest oak tree (over 200 years old) and their setting is conducive to being outdoors and in nature. She also states r egarding movement:  "If it's not in the body, it's not in the brain." For more information, please contact Ms. Trigger at 281-787-9421 or joycetrigger@shadyoak.net.  

We applaud efforts that centers like Shady Oak are making to improve the health of our young children and hope that others feel motivated to do so as well. If your facility or program is doing great things around nutrition and/or physical activity, and would like us to share your story, please contact us

Are you interested in creating a garden to support nutrition education and access to healthy food at your facility? The United Stated Department of Agriculture (USDA) has put together an extensive list of downloadable gardening resources, to include:
  • Garden activity kits
  • Online training on Garden to Preschool
  • Gardening curriculum
  • Garden Toolkit

To view the full list of resources, click here.  


Early Childhood Investigations Webinars is hosting a free webinar on Using Movement for Optimal Development and Early Learning: How Smart Steps Can Make Big Strides. During this session, the authors will discuss every day opportunities, real-world practicalities, and proven techniques for infusing movement into early learning environments.

Date: Wednesday, June 7, 2017
Time: 1:00 PM CST
Click here to register!  

RSVP to Katie Chennisi at cchennisi@hcphes.org or 713-439-6067.

When the school year ends, summer meals begin! Our children need nutritious meals to learn, grow, and thrive - even when school is out. With the Summer Food Service Program, children and tens ages 18 and younger can continue to eat healthy throughout the summer at no cost, just by showing up at a participating meal site.

Starting June1, find a nearby meal site and hours of operation by:
  1. Calling 211
  2. Texting FOODTX to 877-877, or
  3. Visiting SummerFood.org

No form of identification is required, kids simply show up. The Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) is administered by the Texas Department of Agriculture. Visit SummerFood.org today! 

OLE! Texas Community Presentation: Naturalized Outdoor Learning Environments in Child Care Centers
Tuesday, June 6, 2017 from 6:00 PM - 7:30 PM
Houston-Galveston Area Council, 2nd Floor, Conference Room B, 3555 Timmons Ln, Houston, TX 77027
RSVP with Katie Chennisi at cchennisi@hcphes.org or at 713-439-6067

Healthy Living Matters (HLM) Early Care & Education/Out-of-School Time Meeting
Thursday, June 22, 2017 from 10:00 AM - 11:30 AM
Harris County Public Library, 5749 South Loop East, Houston, TX 77033
For more information, contact Katie Chennisi at cchennisi@hcphes.org

Texas School Ready (TSR) Summer Institute
June 27-29, 2017
Sheraton Dallas Hotel, 400 N. Olive St., Dallas, TX 75201
Click here for more information

To view more events, visit our Calendar of Events webpage