Realization of the Healthy Boost project in Suwalki
2020 year was not only the year of corona virus but also the year of realization Heathy Boost and implementation of works which were planned to do in this project. Moreover, all the works connected with realization of the project had to be “re-thinked” due to epidemic state in Poland so project staff had more work to do as it was planned originally.
In this article I want to shortly present works which are done in 2020 (or are in process like pilot actions) in Suwałki in the frames of Healthy Boost project (with some “absorbing” exemptions like project administration works ;-) etc.).
City of Suwałki has finnished the implementation of open workshops and trainings for parents (and theirs kids in pre-school age), teachers, administration and service employees. The workshops and trainings which were carried out concerned on broadly understood healthy nutrition as well as physical activity as an essential element of proper growth. Originally, 14 workshops and training sessions were to take place. However, the SARS-CoV-2 epidemic made it impossible to conduct workshops within the assumed time and scope. Finally, by 31`th October 2020, the contractor completed 11 classes in schools with pre-school departments and in kindergartens in the City of Suwałki. During the meetings, parents and children learned how to prepare healthy meals and acquired knowledge about healthy lifestyle, both in terms of diet and physical activity.
Our goals and actors of pilots:
Realization of activities (sports & healthy nutrition) for kids in preschool age from kindergartens/preschool units and their parents and teachers. Higher level of knowledge about nutrition and healthy lifestyle and actions which can be taken on these fields. Use of AR tools purchased in the project.
Pilots are planned to be organized for ca. 220 Kids in preschool age (ca. 660 hours).
In pilots the educational units (1 kindergarten and 2 primary schools with pre-school units) are conducting many extra-curricular activities e.g.:
- corrective gymnastics with elements of Bilateral Integration and sports activities with elements of Sensoplasty;
- movement exercises with Sensory Integration;
- general development classes with elements of music psychotherapy and hand therapy;
- general development exercises with elements of art therapy and relaxation training;
- games and activities - sports competitions in groups.
All the activities, which are being organized in Healthy Boost (during pilots) project are an excellent form of promoting sport and healthy nutritional habits among children. They improve skills and habits in the fields of sport and recreation and develop sports interests. They arouse interest among children and organize their free time.
Model for cross-sectoral cooperation
The Healthy Boost project addresses the health burden of city residents due to unhealthy lifestyles. The main objective of the project (on general level) is to make urban policies for health and well-being more innovative, more effective and more integrated. This includes work on cross-sectoral cooperation with potential to be used in other fields as well.
By Healthy Boost project the model for effective and participatory cross-sectoral cooperation for health and well-being on the local level will be constructed (up to now working version of the model is created). The model development process involves different departments of the city administration and stakeholders outside the administration: academy, NGOs, city residents and SMEs. The model enables city residents to participate in local decision making and create platform for cooperation between the different partners.
That is why in October we organized on-line co-creation workshop for members of Working Group (directors and representatives from primary schools and kindergartens (also from workshops & pilots) + one private health sector representative (SME) + project staff + representative from Science & Technology Park Suwałki) about working version of the model.
Model had been sent to participants (and before that workshop few times also). Main topics of the workshops: Model analysis and presentation how to use it in real life situations connected with cross sectoral work (not only in the field of health).
During the workshops information about model was spread. Also we gathering the opinion about it from working group members. Presentation was conducted in interactive way to interest audience (and we used, for the first time, MENTI tool).
It was important meeting- there were some questions about model itself and discussion about it.
Project promotion and XR tools info
Last but not least some info about activities in project promotion and conducted actions spreading the knowledge (and good PR) of the project. Due to leading theme of our project (prevention and health protection of children in preschool age) we have purchased gadgets (300 sets) for which have connections and could be useful to improve health of kids.
We decided that set: handy bottle with filter for water filtration and rubber ball all packed in bag with project logo can be attractive for children in pre-school and will be useful although in educational units and by pupils. And will bring them some fun also.
It is great that our expectations became true :-).
Moreover, below short summary about XR tools in Suwałki project:
Provision of XR tools for educational units involved in pilot actions (2 magic floors & 1 magic wall) was one of goals of pilots activities of Healthy Boost Project in Suwałki City. Kids in preschool age will be using these tools during pilots activities & other educational activities. The adaptation to XR project requirements and target group limitations (kids in preschool age) were our biggest challenges but also, finally, the success.
Purchases were done on the beginning of 2020 and the tools are now in 3 educational units in the city. The tools cost was ca. 8300 euro. Due to corona situation and plans to adjust Healthy Boost project to “new reality”, Suwałki proposed to realize budget frames of project with the budget changes for additional XR tools for more educational units in the city.
As we can see on the photographs (on pilots part of article) pupils from educational units like a lot these “new toys”. It is fascinating how easy they learn and play with these items. It is very important to activate and motivate them to move, learn and explore in these hard times for all. Classes using the XR tools allow our preschoolers to acquire new skills but also active education with good fun.