(877)TEX-MEAL
Spotlight Stories
A Child's Place Learning Center, Gold Award Level  Minimize 
Wellness areas: Menu, physical activity, nutrition education and child care environment

A Child's Place Learning CenterA Child’s Place Learning Center is a nonprofit early learning center that has been serving Texas families in Kerr and surrounding counties since 1999. Enrollment has grown from 12 children to 120 by adhering to a mission of offering a caring, fun, learning environment for young children from disadvantaged families. 

A Child’s Place Learning Center is using the Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) Establishing 3E’s (E3E) grant funds to work toward a gold-level Healthier CACFP Recognition Award. Grant funds will be used to improve menu items through farm-to-child care and through nutrition education for parents, staff and children. School gardens and purchases of local foods will supplement center meals.  

The grant coordinator also is providing nutrition education and physical activities with children and staff. Teachers are implementing these activities as part of their daily lesson plans. This grant funding will help make the changes necessary to offer more nutritious foods for our children and more resources and education for our community. 

Children in care are ages 6 weeks through 12 years.  Currently our staff consists of 15 full-time and 3 part-time employees.  Many of our staff have received or are working toward their Child Development Associates Degree and we are currently working to renew Texas Rising Star certification.


Brentwood Children's Academy, Bronze Award Level  Minimize 
Wellness areas: Physical activity and nutrition education

Brentwood Children's AcademyAngie Willis owns Brentwood Children’s Academy, a Christian-based preschool in Houston. The three locations focus on becoming an extended family for the 350-plus infants and children currently enrolled. 
 
Willis and Brentwood Children’s Academy are working toward a bronze-level Healthier CACFP Recognition Award by improving the quality of meals and snacks served, encouraging more physical activity and providing nutrition education in two of their three centers. 

They will use the Establishing 3E’s (E3E) grant funds to purchase Rainbow In My Tummy and use it to improve the quality of meals and snacks with taste testing and the resource’s accredited recipes. Willis also plans to introduce family-style meal service and a fitness class with sports, tumbling, dancing and more. Overall the grant funds will provide opportunities for staff, children and families to improve healthy lifestyles through nutrition education, physical fitness and healthy eating.


Bryan’s House, Silver Award Level  Minimize 
Wellness areas: Menu, physical activity, nutrition education and child care environment

Bryan's HouseBryan’s House is a Dallas child care provider created to care for children with HIV/AIDS. Over the years, Bryan’s House has offered a wide range of care for more than 15,000 children and helped their families lead fulfilling lives. Today, medical advances and education have shifted the need and, happily, fewer children are born with HIV/AIDS.

Bryan’s House will use the Establishing the 3E’s (E3E) nutrition grant funds to obtain a silver-level Healthier CACFP Recognition Award by improving their menu to incorporate fresh options and culturally diverse meals. It will introduce a fitness program that addresses the differing needs of children with and without special physical and medical needs. Additionally they will enhance their classroom “home areas” with plentiful, realistic-looking, pretend food and kitchen supplies.


La Mision Child Care and Kid Kamp, Gold Award Level  Minimize 
Wellness areas: Menu, physical activity, nutrition education and child care environment

La Mision Child Care and Kid KampCecilio DeJesus, a retired Army Nurse Corps officer and assistant professor at San Antonio College, has been the administrator and director of La Mision Child Care and Kid Kamp since October1, 2016. 

La Mision Child Care and Kid Kamp will use the Establishing 3E’s (E3E) grant funds to implement the Healthier Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) Recognition Award and pursue a gold level award. Grant funds will be used to purchase Rainbow In My Tummy (RIMT) to improve the quality of meals and snacks served, gardening supplies to build an outdoor garden, and supplies to produce a parent newsletter. DeJesus and La Mision also will take steps to improve menus, increase daily age appropriate physical activities and improve the child care environment.


Lollypop Learning Center, Gold Award Level  Minimize 

Wellness areas: Menu, physical activity, nutrition education and child care environment


Lollypop Learning CenterAdministrator Naci Sigler’s passion to improve early child care environments and outcomes at Lollypop Learning Center has led her to implement programming such as after-school Spanish lessons and summer swimming lessons. Lollypop Learning Center also has received a Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) Farm-to-Child Care grant. 

Sigler and Lollypop Learning Center are working toward a gold-level Healthier CACFP Recognition Award at two centers by improving the quality of meals and snacks, encouraging more physical activity, providing nutrition education, and improving the child care environment. 

The Establishing 3E’s (E3E) grant funds will be used to purchase Rainbow In My Tummy (RIMT) and Coordinated Approach to Child Health (CATCH). Using the two resources, Lollypop Learning Center will incorporate taste-testing and family-style meal service, and improve physical activity and nutrition education. Funds also will be used to provide certified child-size single hand-wash sinks. Most importantly, the Healthier CACFP Recognition Award will bring preschool staff, parents, caregivers and proven resources together to further facilitate healthy behaviors and routines for the children in care and promote the best outcomes possible!



Promiseland Learning Center, Bronze Award Level  Minimize 
Wellness areas: Menu, physical activity and nutrition education

Promiseland Learning Center

 Promiseland Learning Center was established in 2007 and offers year round care for children 6 weeks old to 5 years old, as well asbefore and after school service for school age children. Director Kaye Hill applied for the Establishing the 3E’s (E3E) nutrition grant and will use the funds to improve the quality of meals and snacks, increase physical activity and help engage parents in learning about the benefits of good, nutritional and healthier lifestyles.

Promiseland will provide nutrition education by offering children a farmers market to show them how fruits and vegetables are grown and arrive at their tables. They will get hands on experience sorting, selling and preparing produce. Improved nutrition will be achieved by adding fresh fruits and vegetables to menus. Increased physical activity will come from Free Movement classes that emphasize Yoga for Preschoolers.

Providing healthy recipes and exercising tips to parents will engage parents in making healthy choices for families. Teachers will be encouraged to be role models for eating healthy and exercising with the children. 


Texas Tech University Early Head Start, Bronze Award Level  Minimize 
Wellness Areas: Menu, child care environment and breast feeding awareness

Texas Tech University Early Head StartTexas Tech University (TTU) Early Head Start provides year-round comprehensive care for pregnant women and families with children six-weeks old to three years old. It is accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children. It currently serves 48 children and provides weekly home visits to 24 families and Early Head Start services to 24 Child Care Partner children. There are no fees for the services and children receive warm, nurturing care from credentialed and degreed teachers who promote each child’s language, emotional, social, motor and cognitive development.

TTU Early Head Start plans to use grant funds from Establishing the 3E’s (E3E) to obtain a bronze-level Healthier CACFP Recognition Award by improving menus and adding nutritional materials and activities to our child care environment. Specifically, TTU Early Head Start plans to set up a designated breast feeding area, provide nutrition-related books, puzzles, posters, and other materials in the classroom, and implement classroom activities that promote toddler involvement in meal times.

The education specialist, Andrea Bewley, will work closely with teachers to implement tastings, nutrition activities, and classroom environments that support wellness and healthy eating.

Exposing children to a variety of healthy food options helps them develop food attitudes and dietary practices that support good health.  When children take part in hands-on learning and play activities, they are exposed to a healthy food culture which communicates that healthy eating is important. And infants have a healthy beginning when mothers are encouraged to breastfeed in a supportive and welcoming environment.


YWCA of Lubbock, Bronze Award Level  Minimize 
Wellness areas: Menus, physical activity and nutrition education

YWCA of LubbockChartered in 1956, the YWCA of Lubbock is dedicated to enriching the lives of Lubbock families. The YWCA is particularly well-known for YWCA Summer Day Camps and for YW-Care which serves more than 1,000 children daily with after school programs in 25 elementary schools throughout the Lubbock area. In 2016, the YWCA continued implementation of important initiatives to assist the South Plains region in the areas it is best known for: child care and early education to support youth and families. 

YWCA of Lubbock is working toward a bronze-level Healthier CACFP Recognition Award by improving the quality of meals and snacks served, encouraging more physical activity and providing nutrition education in three of their early child care centers. The goal is to become a leader and help families choose healthy options by showing them how to prepare economical and healthful meals for their families. The Establishing 3E’s (E3E) grant funds will be used to purchase Rainbow In My Tummy (RIMT) resource to improve the quality of meals and snacks served. RIMT recipes will be used for test tasting with the children to encourage them to try new foods. Grant funds will also provide yoga and swim lessons to children.



In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, 
color, national origin, sex, disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA.  
 
Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g. Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.), should contact the Agency (State or local) where they applied for benefits.  Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339.  Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.
 
To file a program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, (AD-3027) found online at: http://www.ascr.usda.gov/complaint_filing_cust.html, and at any USDA office, or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by:  
mail: 
U.S. Department of Agriculture 
Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights 
1400 Independence Avenue, SW 
Washington, D.C. 20250-9410; 
(2) fax: (202) 690-7442; or 
(3) email: program.intake@usda.gov.
 
This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

© 2017 Texas Department of Agriculture