On July 12, 2019, Root for Kids hosted its 2nd Annual Health Fair for kids enrolled in the Caterpillar Clubhouse. This year, The University of Utah Physician Assistant Program joined the fun! That made it possible to also invite our Early Head Start families to receive free health health services.
Identifying health conditions early is key to ensure a child’s success. By addressing any concerns early on, they will have the best chance to grow and develop appropriately. Thirteen children participated in the fair and all of them received well child exams. They also received fluoride varnish, blood lead levels, hearing, developmental screenings, vision and hematocrit levels.
It is also important for adults to get regular check ups! More than often adults are so busy making sure their kids are alright that they forget to take care of themselves. Thirteen adults received a variety of health screenings such as blood pressure, blood glucose, height, weight BMI, Spot Vision Screen, OAE -Hearing testing and depression. Three adults were referred for further medical needs, two adults were referred for further hearing testing and one adult referred for further vision.
Thank you to everyone who helped make this day a success!
To help support our Health Services team, check out our Amazon Wish List for item donation ideas.
On May 20, 2019 we celebrated over 100 children graduating from Root for Kids programs. Kids aging out of the programs between January and July are invited for a Spring Graduation event organized by Root for Kids. This graduation, we asked the parents to share a little bit about their journey with Root for Kids with us! Check out a few of the stories.
“When we moved to the area in 2018, we had five children under 6 and one on the way. The love, support and guidance given by Root for Kids made this transition so much better. Our children love the visits and we feel like RFK is more friends and family than “just” a program. Our daughters and sons have truly grown with RFK and we love it!”
“My son was brought into the program worried that he might be behind on some skills. One year later he is graduating and is testing above average across the board! Thanks Root for Kids :)”
“Hazel is the #10 child in our family and she was born with Down syndrome. We have absolutely loved the Root for Kids program. I am positive that Hazel has done so much better with the help of her specialists! I have grown to love each and every one of people, and so has Hazel. She has excelled in speech therapy, physical therapy and continues to amaze us each day. Thank you so much for giving our child this head start!”
“Being in a Root for Kids program has been one of the very best decisions we’ve made for out three children. Two of my kids weren’t able to speak very well and it was quite frustrating. With the help of many different RFK employees we’ve come so far, and found much great accomplishments and major growth. We love RFK, they are true heroes.”
“My Root for Kids story has been special for many reasons. I didn’t know about this program until my fourth child out of five, so I can tell the difference in the development of my son who was in the program compared to my three older children who were not. I can also notice the difference in us parents with what we have learned. Our family is very grateful for the program and for everyone who makes it possible for it to happen. Thank you very much for everything.”
Every year, Root for Kids joins all Parents as Teachers programs in Utah for the Utah Families Connect event. The theme this year at Root for Kids was developing healthy habits. Thus, staff prepared and served a healthy dinner, planned obstacle courses for the kids and offered parent/child yoga classes. About 50 families and 150 children came to event! Also, several organizations were invited to table at the event to provide community resources for the families. Check out our favorite moments from the Fit Kid Fair below.
Everyone loved the smoothie station at the event. Try them at home!
Since 2002, Root for Kids partners with the Dixie State University Dental Hygiene program to provide free oral health services to children and pregnant moms enrolled in Early Head Start and Parents as Teachers. This year we expanded that partnership to include The University of Utah Physician Assistant (PA) program! On March 22, 2019 they joined us for the first time at our Root for Kids Dental Hygiene Clinic Day.
At the last clinic, 17 Root for Kids clients received cleanings, oral cancer screenings and got their vital signs checked. All children received topical fluoride and parents received education on oral care for themselves and their families. In addition, all participants received an age-appropriate oral kit for coming to the clinic. The U of U PA students worked together with DSU Dental Hygiene students on the patient’s health history and oral cancer screening. This collaboration is amazing as the students are learning from each other. They referred two adults out for services with a volunteer dentist and one child to an oral surgeon.
The students were supervised by staff and by Dr. Butler, Dr. Scholzen and Dr. Gutierrez, volunteer dentists. We are grateful for their time and passion as we would not be able to do this work without them. Root for Kids staff arranged their schedules to make sure they were there with the families they serve. They also provided interpretation for the Spanish-speaking families!
The services the PA students can offer is only going to grow for our Root for Kids families. We are excited for other special events we are going to host with them! To help support more events and partnerships like this, check out how you can become a sponsor.
One of the best gifts we can give kids is a love for reading and then nurture that love. Book ownership increases literacy rates, which positively impact a child’s health, learning skills, life expectancy, and lifetime income. Needless to say, children’s books can change lives.
Our Early Head Start Literacy Program encourages enrolled parents to read at least 3 hours a month to their child. They record their hours and then we reward them with a book that has been donated. Last year the program piloted with 34 children and the average was 7.7 hours of reading per child. We give one book a month for each child enrolled and with 132 Early Head Start slots, our goal is to reward 132 books a month!
March is National Reading Month, and Root for Kids is excited to announce a new partnership with Usborne Books & More. Here are a few ways you can help Root for Kids get books for the thousands of children we serve every year:
Purchase books for the kids in your life
When you purchase books for your kids, grandchildren, or any child in your life, Root for kids will receive 50% in FREE books! Example: When you purchase $50 in books for children in your life, Root for kids will receive $25 in books.
Click Shop and Select “Root for Kids” as your event. You MUST select the event name “Root for Kids” for them to receive their books.
Choose books you’d like to purchase for Root for Kids and under shipping select “Ship with Organization” and your books will be delivered to Root for Kids directly.
Book suggestions: select books from the category “Age Levels” – Babies & Toddlers or Preschool & Kindergarten.
Donate money to Root for Kids specifically to purchase books
There are so many options on the website that it can be hard to choose. You can always donate directly to Root for Kids and we will purchase the books we need. Books range between $1.99 to $79.99 (sets)
It’s impossible not to smile when you walk into the Caterpillar Clubhouse. The beautiful artwork painted on the walls greets you and creates a welcoming environment for the kids. We talked to the talented artist behind the Caterpillar Clubhouse murals, Kallie Stewart to learn a little more about her and the whole process! Check out the story below.
I grew up in Farmington, Utah until I was 16, then moved to St. George, Utah. I now live in beautiful Santa Clara, where I get to see all of the amazing landscapes of Southern Utah every day. In January of 2017, I started working for Root for Kids (then The Learning Center for Families).
I knew about the organization from previously working at WIC (Women, Infants and Children). I was ready for a change in employment and was very interested in being a part of the services that Root for Kids offers to the community. Currently, I work as a Family Support Specialist for the Early Head Start program, and I do not regret coming to work for Root for Kids for a single moment. It has been an amazing company to work for, with amazing coworkers and community members!
I have been interested in art since I was a little girl. I took every art class I could get my hands on! Then I went on to get an Associate’s Degree from Utah Valley University in Fine Art. I have had the opportunity to do commissions involving portraits, murals, and interior design projects. I had the awesome opportunity of doing my first mural at my daughter’s preschool at the time, Desert Edge Montessori.
Murals in the Baby Room
A few months after starting here, Suzanne (Root for Kids CEO) approached me about doing a mural for the re-branding of the daycare. She gave me a few ideas that she wanted, but let me use my artistic judgement to design it. The first installment was done in the baby room with a sleeping caterpillar and two butterflies.
Suzanne approached me again in the fall of 2018 about brightening up the hallway of the Caterpillar Clubhouse. We sat down and started brainstorming small with some grass, flower, butterflies, and caterpillars. Our creative juices started flowing and we ended up deciding to brighten up the whole hall. The ideas was to paint it a light blue and add a tree house aspect when you enter the hall.
Bill (Root for Kids Facilities Coordinator) helped us prep the walls, and Suzanne was a major sport. It was nice to see our CEO covered in blue paint as she painted the whole wall! She is so invested in the happiness of our little children in the Caterpillar Clubhouse. I then went on to give the hallway a nature wonderland theme to give the children the feel of being on the level of the caterpillars and butterflies. It has been so fun to see the faces of the kids (and the parents) light up as they enter.
I’m glad I could be a part of adding joy to the kids faces. It is so important for the children to enjoy, and feel at home in a space where they spend a portion of their day. Feel free to reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org for any consults or projects that you would be interested in.
We are love how the Caterpillar Clubhouse looks now! We are so lucky to have Kallie in our team. If you are looking for high quality care for your child (0 to 5 years old), check out the Caterpillar Clubhouse page and fill out an application!