Tuesday, October 5, 2010

VIS ADVOCACY | Community Research: Nozella Brown


Early last week I had the chance to sit down with Nozella Brown to ask her some questions about my particular focus in the Rosedale Community and the Healthy Kids Initiative. Nozella is a County Extension Agent of Family and Consumer Sciences for K-State's Research and Extension Wyandotte County. In meeting with her, she also had some very insightful, first hand information that may prove to be very important as I move forward with my solutions.

In regards to team sports and activities Nozella was very useful in providing me with the limitations faced by families in Rosedale. The main three were that of general safety, the functionality & safety of the parks, as well as the lack of equipment. She expressed concerns of safety due to the fact that kids cannot always get outside because their parents are working; however, a solution to this problem is in the works with after school programs. But it still does not address the fact that parents do not want their kids outside playing in their own yards due to concerns with safety.

From this questions arose about the school systems and how they have the most power to facilitate this change due to the nature of the classroom and its facilitation of a 'captive audience'. Nozella has worked directly with teachers in the school to integrate systems that allow for "10 minute recess" through out the day in a way that does not disrupt the class curriculum. In addition to this she expressed the need for kids to be active through out the day as it increases brain activity and focus. It was clearly seen that marketing to the children is highly viable as they directly influence their parents, and the greatest thing needing facilitation is the limitation of time and accessibility.

The information gained from this meeting is crucial in understanding the community and gave me a much greater sense of the limitations I need to work within or exploit so they are no longer limitations. Information learned about the school systems and their efforts is very informative in my decisions as I move towards my solutions. This gives a good insight into the school side of things and I am hoping to hear back from others that may give shed some light on activity outside of school.

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