Families, Life Enrichment

Harvest House families help #ColorTheCommunity

Throughout the first 1,000 days of our life, our brains grow very rapidly. What happens during this formative time can have lifelong effects.

Right here at Sarasota Memorial Hospital, more than 52% of babies are born into low-income or poverty-stricken families. This means that more than 52% of babies born at SMH are lacking stable housing, food, healthcare, and other resources that are crucial for development. This statistic helped to ignite Sarasota’s First 1,000 Days initiative.

First 1,000 Days Sarasota County is a community initiative to improve the health and well-being of babies and families. Comprised of 75 partners including Harvest House, First 1,000 Days pulls together resources to increase access to prenatal, newborn, and early childhood development care that gives babies and families a crucial opportunity to thrive.

“Babies who have access to healthcare, good nutrition, stable homes, loving relationships, and early childhood education start life with a strong foundation for success.” – First 1,000 Days

In an effort to continue the conversation, share resources, and encourage families to spend time together, First 1,000 Days Sarasota County launched the Color the Community– a community-wide art campaign celebrating babies and families.

Partners like Harvest House were invited to participate by creating and sharing works of art that reflect The Basics early learning principles:

      1. Maximize love, manage stress
      2. Count, group, compare
      3. Talk, sing, and point
      4. Explore through play and movement
      5. Read and discuss stories

Last weekend, families came together for a creative morning outside. The kids enjoyed the opportunity to leave their art on Harvest House sidewalks and parents enjoyed quality time with their little ones.

Manager of Family Services Jordan Mayer said “it was really nice to see families and even our young adults creating things together. We are always trying to find different ways to build community and belonging, so this was a great opportunity to get everyone outside together. We also got to help parents become acquainted with ‘The Basics’ – 5 key parenting principles that support social, emotional, and cognitive development at young ages.”

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