The past month has officially been Cairn Guidance's busiest month in 8 years, since we opened (formerly as Bogli Consulting)! Over the month, we have been busy working on a variety of projects all over the country supporting schools and communities to be healthier places. Here is what we are working on.
During the beginning of May, Jess participated in a successful event in Newark as the content lead for the Clinton Foundation's Health Matters Closing the Gap in Childhood Obesity Forum, in partnership with Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Grantmakers in Health. As the content lead, Jess works with speakers and moderators weeks prior to provide support and guidance before their panel discussion. The event was incredibly successful and Jess had a wonderful time reconnecting and meeting new people!
Jess is working part time as a program manager for the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky, within the Kentucky Healthy Futures Initiative and funded by the Social Innovation Fund, a federally funded program. She has had the opportunity to work with 6 sub-grantees around Kentucky, getting to know people and communities in her new state! Jess has been impressed with the innovative projects of Home of the Innocents in Louisville, providing dental care for medically fragile children, the Meade Activity Center in Brandenburg Kentucky providing numerous healthy out of school time opportunities and two health care sub-grantees using tele-medicine to reach patients in rural Kentucky. This project brought her to Seattle to meet with our evaluator on the project, Ian Maki at the Center for Community Health and Evaluation.
Jess has continued to work on a long-term project for the Alliance for a Healthier Generation's Healthy Schools Program to determine what characteristics are most important when developing and implementing a sustainable school health initiative. Initial thoughts include an understanding from schools/districts that school health work isn't just a program, but systems change. How do we create a culture of health so embedded within the school community, so aligned to the education accountability measures that it doesn't go away? Stay tuned for more on this work!
Jess traveled to Grand Rapids Michigan to co-interview with a team of experts, including Alta Planning, pulled together for a large Transportation Project for their city. She will be the lead curriculum developer for both cyclist and motorist programs for their city, aligned to the hope that bicycle accidents decrease and cycling as a mode of transportation increases. Jess will develop curricula, develop a Training of Trainers, help select local trainers and train them, in order to build Grand Rapids' capacity to deliver these programs locally.
Jess has been busy developing two keynote addresses- one for Tulsa, Oklahoma's Fit2Learn Summit and one for Department of Education in Maine at Sugar Loaf at the end of June. Both will focus on being a school health champion through lessons learned on her 4200 mile solo bicycle trip across the US last summer.
Jess and Jamie Sparks will be co-facilitating a Let's Move Active Schools Training in Richmond KY on June 17. We have almost 50 educators from around the state who will be trained as a Physical Activity Leader, with the expectation they go back to their school communities and implement Comprehensive School Physical Activity Programs in their school environments!
We have quite a few pending projects that we are excited about that focus on mental health in schools, wellness policy work (district-level) and a school employee wellness project. We are staying incredibly busy and hope to sustain this level of energy and interest nationally so that our students are best prepared to achieve to their full potential!