Independence Health Department
The Independence Health Department (IHD) is partnering with Hawthorne Place Apartments (HPA) to bring play opportunities to their onsite David Stanley Community Center (DSCC). The center offers multiple resources, such as WIC services, SNAP/EBT, food pantry, childcare facility, health fairs, immunizations, and training classes, to assist and connect residents with social services to meet their social and economic needs.
IHD, along with HPA and other collaborative partners, will utilize the computer room, front entrance, and the multi-purpose room in the DSCC to provide components of play that will stimulate sensory learning and physical activity for children while their guardian receives social service assistance. The computer room offers free internet services for the residents and provides individuals access to apply for jobs. In this room, IHD and its partner Habitat for Humanity will build a bookshelf for the kids as well as provide a reading rug. Additionally, Mid-Continent Library will come to Hawthorne once a month to donate children?s books and provide the kids an interactive, story time reading.
The front room of the community center is where WIC and SNAP/EBT services are provided. For this room, IHD will order a "fun mirror" with fruit and vegetable magnets along with supplemental nutrition pamphlets for parents. This will not only help keep the kids active while their parents are signing up for essential services but will also help address the underlying community need to reduce obesity. Sixty-nine percent of residents within the HPA zip code (64050) are considered overweight or obese.
Finally, IHD will order and install a large activity wall for the multi-purpose room, which also serves as a satellite facility for the Boys & Girls Club, Small Wonders Childcare, and Community of Christ Church, thereby extending the reach of our project to other at-need populations. The activity wall will stimulate sensory learning while also challenging fine and gross motor skills. The activity wall will be vivid and colorful, encouraging kids to simultaneously play and learn while their parents are receiving services.
IHD will also partner with the Independence School District to design and paint a fun and colorful mural on the main wall of the multi-purpose room to make the room more inviting. Additionally, IHD will paint a hop-scotch stencil outside the multi-purpose room to promote physical activity.
- Alicia Nelson