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Fort Hood: New Daycare Health Initiative Starting

By: Chinh Doan Email
By: Chinh Doan Email

FORT HOOD (November 10, 2012)--Two of Fort Food's child development centers started a health initiative today after two months of administrators revising the plan.

Starting today, about 150 children will walk from their school to the two daycares.

This is part of First Lady Michelle Obama's "Let's move" initiative to encourage a more-active lifestyle.

Instead of this walk happening daily at several daycare centers as it was once intended, it will only be once a month at two centers.

Also, it's no longer mandatory but optional with some incentives for the children and parents.

Incentives such as prizes for the children and discounts of daycare services for the parents.

Some parents were excited with the new plan, while others still had concerns.

Nick and Karen Deshong said they were very concerned when they first received word that their four-year-old daughter Kallie would start walking to and from school from her daycare at Fort Hood.

"I'm quite sure this isn't what the First Lady had in mind," said Karen.

"Seeing today, it's good, but we were here, and what would happen if the parents weren't here?" Nicke said.

The Deshongs said they're also concerned for Kallie's asthma and severe allergies.

"Would this be the thing that would push her over the edge and make her more ill?" Karen said.

Nick and Karen walked with Kallie from Meadows Elementary School to Meadows Child Development Center, about half a mile walk.

They said although they appreciate the changes and the push toward a healthier lifestyle for their daughter, they still feel that there are still questions that need answers, like the motive behind this health initiative.

"I'd like to see some fine tuning because I noticed today they didn't have backpacks, so they had a van come over to the school, pick up the backpacks and bring them here, which if you're addressing cost cutting measures, now we've not only walked and spent twice as much time walking them, but we still sent a vehicle over," Karen said.

Daycare administrators said patience and willingness to work with them is key to the children's success.

They also said they're doing everything they can to ensure the children are safe.

"We actually coordinated with the department of emergency services and community policing to train our staff on crossing guard familiarization so that they're more comfortable in taking those children out on those busy streets," said Kimberly Bleakley-Sias, a child development services administrator at Meadows Child Development Center.


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