A Houston/Harris County Childhood Obesity Prevention Collaborative 
December 2016  /  Issue No. 49     

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ProUnitas ProUnitas 
Healthy Living Matters is proud to introduce our newest collaborative partner, ProUnitas!

ProUnitas was created by Founder Adeeb Barqawi who while teaching realized that his students' inability to learn was not due to their lack of motivation but rather the lack of essential services within the school and community to meet their numerous needs. It soon became clear that someone had to partner with organizations and coordinate linking students to much needed services.

( Adeeb Barqawi, Founder and CEO  & Damon Hoyle,
Director of Systems Coordination)
ProUnitas started enlisting people within the school and community to meet the needs of the children and, initially, there was no specific solution in mind. Eventually, this group of youth and community members became more organized and focused and formed the ProUnitas Kashmere Community and Youth Councils. 
ProUnitas identified two fundamental systems that needed to exist before measurable transformational change could occur: 1) The establishment of a civic infrastructure that acts as a centralized community/volunteer/advocacy voice for the birth - 24 population; and 2) a support-backbone organization that aligns and supports the linkage of services for the birth - 24 population. 
ProUnitas will play a pivotal role in our community outreach efforts. Being housed in the Kashmere Multi-Service Center, HLM will have the opportunity to work directly in one of our three priority areas. This will also allow HLM to work closer at the grassroots level to monitor the efforts and influences of our policy priorities. ProUnitas has also agreed to become a partner in our forming HLM Youth Council. For more information, visit the ProUnitas website.   

Katie Chennisi, who supports our HLM efforst in Pasadena and the Early Care & Education/Out-of-School Time sector, joined the Complete Communities panel to discuss the many variables that come into play when studying community and school success. Presented by the Rice University Shell Center for Sustainability, topics covered a report presentation by Lester Kind, PhD and a panel discussion regarding indicators used to predict housing value and determine complete communities. Click here to download a copy of the Sustainable Communities and Public Education report.   
Panelist s (left to right) : Lest er King, PhD. , Katie Chennisi, Jane Cahill-West, Kristi Rangel and Paul Silverman

Katie spoke about the work HLM is doing in Pasadena, working with the school district on Safe Routes to School efforts and improving neighborhood conditions overall. Katie also mentioned HLM's work to broaden the education scope in order to consider early care and education (ECE), mentioning how communities need access to quality ECE programs to get kids started on the right path towards health and academic achievement.  

Healthy Living Matters wants to bring the Choose Healthier mobile app and website to Houston-Harris County, and we need your help! The Choose Healthier app and website, created by the statewide health non-profit IT'S TIME TEXAS, provides a free way to both promote and discover all of the healthy activities in our community! 
As a user, you can filter opportunities via the app or website by price, location, your age, and more, to find the perfect opportunities for you or your family. As a vendor, you can promote nutrition, fitness, and general wellness activities in Choose Healthier for free! Choose Healthier includes healthy places, activities, and events ranging from parks and trails, to gyms and fitness classes, to healthy restaurants, farmers markets, health fairs, free health screenings, free family events, and more. The app also includes hundreds of health tips and a calendar feature, so you can plan out a healthy week in advance!

Do you offer healthy opportunities to the community, or can you share this with someone who does?  To populate Choose Healthier, please add healthy activities into the website by creating a free account @  www.choosehealthier.org . If you have questions or need assistance importing a large number of opportunities, email Carol at:  carol.curran@itstimetexas.org.
Local School Wellness Policy Outreach ToolkitWellnessToolkit
Parents play an important role in helping school districts create and carry out strong wellness policies that work. When parents are engaged in school activities, their children are more likely to get better grades, choose healthier behaviors, and have better social skills. So their participation can really have a positive impact.  

Developed under the United States Department of Agriculture's Team Nutrition initiative, the Be A School Wellness Champion Outreach Toolkit includes a letter to principals, parent flyer, newsletter insert, social media posts, and presentation slides about local school wellness policies.  
These customizable templates can be adapted to meet your district's specific needs. If desired, these materials can be edited at the district level, and then distributed at the school level. Anyone can give the presentation on the wellness policy, but it will be most effective if the principal gives opening remarks to show his/her support. Click here to learn more about the Outreach Toolkit and to download its tools and resources.

Art for Your Health Walk 
Wednesday, December 21st, 12:00 PM - 12:30 PM 
Butler Plaza, University of Houston, TX 77004

Community Health Festival & Health Fair
Saturday, January 16, 2016 from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm
MacGregor Park 5225 Calhoun Houston,  TX 77021

HLM-Pasadena Community Task Force Meeting
Thursday, January 19, 2016 from 1:30 PM - 3:30 PM (every third Thursday)
Pasadena City Hall, 1211 Southmore Ave, Pasadena, TX 77502
For more information contact Katie Chennisi @  cchennisi@hcphes.org 
HLM Early Care & Education/Out-of-School Time Action Team  
Thursday, January 26, 2016 from 10:00 AM-12:30 PM (every fourth Thursday) 
2223 West Loop S, Houston, TX 77027 (Room 416)
For more information contact  Katie Chennisi @ cchennisi@hcphes.org

HLM - Quarterly Collaborative Meeting
Friday, February 17th, 2017 from 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM 
Location: TBA
For more information contact Frances Nguyen @  fnguyen@hcphes.org

To view more events, visit our Calendar of Events webpage