The Whole Child philosophy is grounded in the notion that communities must address and nurture all 6 dimensions of a child’s well being in order to raise a healthy child.
A growing body of research shows that the first 5 years of life are crucial to brain development, to acquiring social skills necessary to grow into good citizens, and to developing emotional strength and physical and mental health. Embracing the idea that we must nurture the Whole Child is key to giving our children the best start in life.
Whole Child Hardee Highlands Polk is forming 6 “Action Teams” made up of leaders in the community, some with extensive knowledge on the subject, some bringing the gift of a new perspective. All have a passion for children. Some Teams focus on research and identifying gaps, while others focus on developing tools and activities to assist parents and caregivers.
-Social-Emotional Development: The focal point of this action team is providing family-friendly information on assessing and facilitating social and emotional development.
-Spiritual Foundation and Strength: This action team provides resources for nurturing the development of a child’s spirit including qualities to teach and nurture, reading aloud, places to experience and adventuring in music, movement, drama and the visual arts.
-Economic Stability: This action team will help hard-working families become financially stable and take the next steps to long-term independence.
-Physical & Mental Health: This action team focuses on issues such as pediatric dental needs, infant mortality, mental health, health data collection, health insurance and navigation of the health delivery system.
-Quality Education: The goal of this action team is to improve children’s development through quality early education.
-Safe & Nurturing Environments: “From the crib to the playground” is a good description of the wide scope of this action team’s focus on creating a safe and nurturing environment within the home and neighborhood for children and families in our community.