The Iowa Alliance for Healthy Kids came together in fall 2019 with the goal of working with Sesame Street in Communities on supporting the social-emotional development of children in Central Iowa and across the state. Many steering committee members are already working on initiatives focused on early mental health and development, family support, and preventing childhood trauma, but Iowa has not had a unified effort specifically around social-emotional well-being. The need for this initiative has only increased during the pandemic as many kids are isolated, living in homes with high levels of stress, and unable to access supports through schools and in the community.
Our goal for this initiative is for Iowans to have increased understanding of social-emotional well-being and use Sesame Street in Communities resources to promote early relational health with families and the healthy development of children ages 0-8. Our focus in Year 1 is on Central Iowa, but we plan to quickly expand this work through our networks across the state.
We will achieve our goal by implementing strategies in these areas:
- Integrate consistent messages about social-emotional well-being and Sesame Street in Communities resources into trainings, materials, and resources for parents and caregivers, community members, and providers in early care and education, family support, health care, mental health, and education.
- Increase awareness about social-emotional well-being, its importance for healthy development, and Sesame Street in Communities resources by building a network of champions and through public awareness activities in Central Iowa.
- Track and report the impact of the project with focus on Central Iowa in Year 1. Use results to identify successful messages and strategies to expand statewide.
We welcome our community to get engaged in this work. Visit our site at www.iowaallianceforhealthykids.org!