For a couple of years now, with the support of Madison Community Foundation, Sustain Dane, a local non-profit organization, has been organizing and facilitating community discussion groups. “Healthy Children, Healthy Planet” is the newest program and is just being launched.
The “Healthy Children, Healthy Planet” is a seven session program designed to create awareness, heighten motivation and support parents, families or anyone who is concerned about the lives of children, and help them understand the pressures and offer antidotes to creating healthy environments for children.
At least eight new “Healthy Children, Healthy Planet” groups are set to begin meeting in January in local libraries, centers of faith, and other community and work spaces. Registration is free and limited to twelve participants per course. The accompanying discussion book is available through Sustain Dane for twenty dollars.
In the program, small groups of participants openly share ideas and concerns on such isuees as: creating more meaningful family time, fostering creativity, exploring nature, and encouraging healthy lifestyles. Topics covered in seven sessions include: Cultural Pressures, Family Rituals & Celebrations, Advertising, Food & Health, Time & Creativity, Technology & the Media, and Exploring Nature.
Ruth Shelly, Executive Director of the Madison Children’s Museum, recently participated in the “Healthy Children, Healthy Planet” course with other Madison Children’s Museum staff. “The program was great in that there was no judgment–it celebrated the small steps our family had already taken, and gave us encouragement to do a little more,” said Shelly.
Sarah Kissel, a Madison mother two young children, recently hosted a course in her home with seven other community members who she had not known before the course began. The course had a significant impact on Kissel’s sense of responsibility: “It (the course) has made many goals I had for me and my children seem not only possible, but also necessary. I am experiencing a renewed feeling of conviction that we can live our lives according to our values and we don’t have to give in to peer pressure or commercials.”
For a complete listing of upcoming courses, visit the Sustain Dane website or for more information or to register, interested participants should contact Sustain Dane at 608.819.0689.