I’m embarking on a new adventure and I couldn’t be more excited. First, let me talk about the chapter that’s ending….
At the end of this month my work with the Chatham County Partnership for Children will be finished. I’ve been coordinating our local Shape NC project for the past five years. Shape NC is a statewide project focused on early childhood obesity prevention and our funding ends this month.
I feel so great about the work we have done at the Partnership in collaboration with child care centers and community partners. Together we’ve made menus at child care centers healthier, built multiple vegetable gardens, transformed run of the mill playgrounds into natural outdoor learning environments, piloted a farmer’s market voucher project for families, helped build a nature trail, and much more.
I came to the job from Raleigh, where I was a policy analyst in the Physical Activity and Nutrition Branch of the state health department. I wanted to get to know Chatham County, where I had just moved, and I wanted to work “in the field,” rather than writing policy papers that Raleigh lawmakers might or might not read. Wow, what a change. A good one. I’ve never once regretted it.
Here are some things that of course I knew but now got to live them: families with young children are exhausted, child care providers are incredibly hard working and woefully, woefully underpaid, healthy food often tastes yucky to young children, children are naturally physically active if you just let them be, and (most) everyone wants to do the right thing.
It has been such a privilege to work for the Chatham County Partnership for Children. They do vitally important work, helping to keep child care in our county high quality and safe. They help make it affordable and accessible for some. That they cannot make it affordable for all is a huge national policy issue. Child care in this country costs more than college. I hope to stay active as a volunteer for the Partnership. Please, support them however you can.
My passion was, and is still, helping to create a culture of health in our community. And my next project will allow me to continue that work. I am very excitedly planning to open a yoga studio in Pittsboro in the spring. More details on that, very soon! For now I will just say that I very much want the studio to be more than a yoga studio, but a community that brings people together who care about wellness – both our personal wellness and that of the world we inhabit.
I am so grateful for all that I have learned in these last years, and totally excited for the next challenge.
Reaching for something in the distance
So close you can almost taste it
Release your inhibitions
Feel the rain on your skin
No one else can feel it for you
Only you can let it in
No one else, no one else
Can speak the words on your lips
Drench yourself in words unspoken
Live your life with arms wide open
Today is where your book begins
The rest is still unwritten
(From the song Unwritten by Natasha Bedingfield)