The Belleville Summer Movement was a collective of organizations working together to purposefully coordinate programming, support, and resources in a multilayered approach to bolster the Healthier Together Summer Movement. The movement spanned across four schools, each with their own summer camp sites, with special emphasis towards the Franklin Elementary footprint. Programming and activities were directed at students grades K-6, with primary focus in five key areas: improving access and increasing consumption of healthy food and beverages, decreasing food insecurities, increasing the number of minutes of daily physical activity, increasing health literacy, and decreasing tobacco use in school age children. The goal was to educate children participating in the camps on healthy lifestyle changes to promote a healthier community.
Attendance included 365 students, grades K-6, who completed a total of 96 hours of youth and health literacy programming. A total of 15 partner-agency staff and 29 SIUE School of Nursing student volunteers provided 200 hours of program planning and coordination for the four Belleville Summer Day Camps. These partner agencies included St. Clair County Health Department, St. Louis Dairy Council, University of Illinois Extension, YMCA, AgeSmart, BJC, Chestnut, and SIUE School of Nursing.
The Belleville WIC Clinic and University of Illinois Extension Donation Garden helped to provide 300 pounds of produce along with 10 hours of direct youth education. A $2,500 demonstration garden grant was also provided at the health department. To top it off, the St. Louis area food bank contributed family weekend meal boxes to send home with the kids. These meal boxes provided 15,480 meals across 645 meal boxes, ensuring accessible healthy food options to families in need.
To close out the summer movement, assistance was also given to the Belleville Old Town Market to enable EBT/LINK acceptance, enabling healthy food accessibility to families utilizing those programs. These EBT/Debit/Credit machines were secured through a special state grant program at no cost. In addition, St. Elizabeth Hospital also lended their support by providing 500 $5 vouchers to low income families.
Initiative at a Glance.
Participating Partner Agencies