In the News

 

iWork Well Workforce Wellness - September, 2014

NBCC has just received Silver recognition for employee wellness by laying the groundwork for sustainable programs by putting many best practices in place.

 

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Are We Crazy About Our Kids?

On Wednesday, April 30th, Susan Gilmore participated in Are We Crazy About Our Kids? The Cost/Benefit Equation of Early Childhood Education.

This event was attended by about 100 people  representing a cross section of ECE providers, school officials, city officials, business individuals and Petaluma residents. The movie was filled with research based evidence on the long term benefits of quality ECE programs with economists and business leaders espousing the real need for the U.S. to get behind policy to support the development of a more comprehensive system.

Joining her on the panel were:

David Rabbitt, Sonoma County Board of Supervisors
Ramona Faith, CEO Petaluma Health Care District
Alfredo Perez, Executive Director First 5 Sonoma County
Susan Gilmore, Executive Director North Bay Children’s Center
Maureen Rudder, Principal McDowell Elementary
Bob Reynolds, CEO Innovative Business Solutions
Cynthia Murray, CEO & President North Bay Leadership Council

 

For more information on the project, and to watch the film,  please click here.

http://www.raisingofamerica.org/crazy-about-our-kids

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North Bay Children's Center....Young Gardeners Star in Kaiser Permanente Photos

The three- and four-year-olds were busy rinsing and spinning lettuce or cutting persimmons, picked from a school garden rich in kale, swiss chard, and other winter produce.

The five pint-sized chefs were oblivious to the hovering photographer and his assistants that Kaiser Permanente hired to build a new brand library. But then one unsuspecting boy caught the eye of the man behind the camera. Todd Eckelman wanted Teddy Shellenberger to pull the salad's spinner string again. 

"Pull it hard," he encouraged Teddy. "Pull it hard."

The photographer encourages Teddy, who later said he liked when the photographer instructed him to spin hard. And Teddy performed, giving the string such an earnest tug he stuck his tongue over his top lip.

"Just like Michael Jordan!" he said.

It was almost an ordinary day at the North Bay Children's Center. The kids eat and tend to the school's three-year-old garden project called Garden of Eatin' that KP has helped support for the past two years through one of its Healthy Eating Active Living grants.

But this sunny day was different because the  professional photography crew captured the children and their teachers at the preschool, toddler/infant, and after-school program in Novato and Petaluma for a soon-to-be debuted Community Benefit photo library. Similar to the brand library, this new library promises to give a uniform look to brochures and other materials created by Community Benefit managers from across the program.

"It's about the partnership that KP has with the community," said Kara Stark, producer with Brand Marketing. "So these photos should be specific to communicate that message."

The North Bay Children's Center was the second photo shoot for the nascent library and the first one in Northern California. To grow the stock of photos, the Brand Marketing team searched for gardens and scouted out three in Northern California before deciding on the Garden of Eatin'. Stark said the Garden of Eatin' was the natural choice for an all-day shoot involving 18 different kids, ages 3 to 6. In addition to the salad-making scene, kids were shot tending to the garden, planting in the green house, and exercising. In the case of the 4-year-old Teddy, he was photographed rolling a pumpkin that looked heavier than he was.

  "There was such a passion to teach the kids at an early age," Stark said of the school. When the creative team came to scope it out, she recalled David Haskell, project coordinator for the garden, leaping through the garden. "How could we not to do this here?"

Susan Gilmore, the center's executive director, became passionate about growing a garden after reading about the alarming rates of childhood obesity. Recognizing that the school serves two out of their student's three daily meals, they decided to become "part of a solution, instead of the problem."

The gardens don't produce enough to fill all their meals, but the kids are exposed to fruits and vegetables at an early age before they develop a liking for salt and sugars.

"Consumption of fruits and vegetables, without a doubt, has increased substantially," Gilmore said. "Parents are reporting that their children are always asking for produce they see in the grocery store that they recognize from the garden."

Teddy showed that with his gusto for fresh greens. Holding both hands around the fork, he shoveled in fistful-sized bites of salad. Lettuce spilled from the corners of his mouth.

"If that's not an advertisement for health," said one of the crew members. "I don't know what is."

By Elizabeth Schainbaum,
Kaiser Permanente