Children are not just our future. Children are our now!
For more than five decades, the medical practice of Kidz1st has focused on serving the varied needs of children, youth, and their families. KidzKare collects and distributes new and gently used clothing, promotes literacy through the distribution of new and gently used books, provides health education for community groups, and readies children for going back to school each year. Raising Rochester continues the focus on children. The largest demographic segment to receive nutritional assistance through both food pantries in our area and through the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program is children.
Other projects developed by Dr. Mitchell and Dr. Operti and “coming soon” include Above & Beyond Child Care and Education Center, the highest quality childcare center in the county, opening in August 2013 and a free pediatric health clinic opening in 2013-2014.
FEEDING…..THOSE IN NEED After all, it’s all about the kids! Do more. Do better.
Financial need in the Greater Rochester area is so great that four food pantries in the area is still not enough. And the main part that is most commonly missing in the nutritional assistance that we offer is definitely not love and generosity but a coordinated way to grow and offer fresh produce.
And the need does not stop there. Availability of fresh, local, organic food is spotty, at best, and costly for everyone. We believe that everyone should have easier access to being able to put quality food on their plates every day, not chicken nuggets, French fries, and Cocoa Puffs.
GROWING…..GREEN Be passionate. Be committed. Be the change.
The organic food movement has made slow, steady progress over the past four decades and the grass roots nature of the movement is making it a force to be reckoned with. Organic food sales had increased 2-3 fold every decade for the past 30 years but remains at less than 1% for fruit and vegetables. We have a long way to go.
Scientific evidence on the human health benefits of organic food is mixed and sparse, likely not because there is no benefit but because the studies are difficult and expensive and there are no big businesses throwing their profits at the issue. If anything, it’s the other way around.
Raising Rochester will attempt to grow all of our produce organically. In addition, our gardens will be sustainable, meaning that we will re-use, recycle, repurpose, and re-etc whenever practical, including compost, of course. After initial construction and planting, in the annual cycle of the program we want the “input” into the gardens to be as small as possible, limiting the gobbling up of non-renewable materials.
Raising Rochester will grow in a bio-intensive manner. The easiest way to understand the concept is to read the book, “The NEW Square Foot Garden,” by Mel Bartholomew. This is not just “hippie talk” but an accumulation of new and proven agricultural science clearly condensed in an inexpensive, simple, effective approach that can be successful virtually anywhere on earth. The bottom line is healthy plants will give a much higher yield in a much smaller space with less resources and less work. Seems too good to be true but it’s real.
TEACHING…..HEALTHY LIVING Teach a man to fish…
Education is a core value of Kidz1st and KidzKare. By strongly encouraging the entire community to participate, everyone will have the opportunity to get hands-on experience and will learn how and why healthy living is so important so they can pass it on and on.
Raising Rochester also hopes to bring the many concepts of healthy living into our schools, not to simply teach healthy living concepts but to use healthy living concepts to teach reading, writing, and ‘rithmatic. It’s the means, not the end and should not be seen as a threat to achieving higher standardized scores but as a proven way to improve them. In addition, students will learn many life skills such as entrepreneurism, community awareness, civic engagement, and negotiation and teachers and the community will see how truly talented, creative, dedicated, and powerful our children really are when given the chance to shine.
SHARING…..OUR SUCCESS It takes a village…
KidzKare believes that, based on the history of healthy living and generous giving that have defined our community and citizens for generations, the success of Raising Rochester is guaranteed. So, we can all agree – fresh and healthy food, confidence in our healthy living knowledge and skills, and a growing sense of community and togetherness.
At Kidz1st and KidzKare, however, we never sit back for very long to rest on our successes. There is always more to be done. To that end, we’re not even sure that there is a true end in sight for the Raising Rochester program even after our community is fed and educated. Additionally, we hope to share our success with a broader base by having our own brand of “Raising Rochester” quality-guaranteed processed foods and by “packaging” the Raising Rochester program to help other communities be successful, too. What other ideas do YOU have?
Go to our Resources page and watch all the inspiring videos all around the US and the World.