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  • Pilot program aims to encourage outdoor learning, healthy habits for Georgetown County children

    May 6, 2024
    Contact: Dawn Bryant
    Tidelands Health
    (843) 652-1636

    News for Immediate Release:

    Pilot program aims to encourage outdoor learning, healthy habits for Georgetown County children
    An innovative pilot program is giving early childhood centers in Georgetown County the tools to help kids form healthy habits by engaging and learning outdoors.
    LiveWell Georgetown County, an initiative led by Tidelands Health, is partnering with the Institute for Child Success to implement the outdoor learning technical assistance program, which aims to equip childcare providers with essential skills to engage children effectively in outdoor environments.
    "The long-term goal of LiveWell Georgetown County and our partnership with the Institute for Child Success is to cultivate a healthy generation in Georgetown County," says Connie Koprowicz, community outreach manager at Tidelands Health. "By prioritizing outdoor play and nature engagement in early childhood education, we aim to mitigate the risk factors associated with preventable chronic diseases such as diabetes and obesity, ultimately fostering a healthier and more vibrant community."
    In the initial phase of the pilot program, five early childhood centers in Georgetown County received a comprehensive toolkit with more than 70 outdoor activities, including backyard bug hunts, scavenger hunts, wet sand excavation and more. The activities are aimed at enhancing children’s learning and engagement outdoors, as well as providing guidance to teachers on how to maximize the use of their outdoor space. 
    In the next phase, families affiliated with those five early childhood centers will receive their own activity toolkits and be invited to a seminar to learn how to engage their children outdoors in ways that will enhance their learning and overall health.
    The goal is to expand the program after the pilot period.
    “This program underscores a shared commitment to nurturing the holistic development of children, recognizing the immense impact of outdoor activities and interaction with nature on their physical, cognitive and emotional well-being,” Koprowicz said.
    With a mission to bridge health disparity gaps and enhance health outcomes for all residents, LiveWell Georgetown County addresses various aspects of health through dedicated workgroups, including physical activity, healthy foods and early learning.
    In addition to the outdoor learning kits, LiveWell, in partnership with Clemson Cooperative Extension, has provided resources over the past few years to help 13 early learning centers across Georgetown County create onsite gardens to help kids learn and develop healthy eating habits.
    LiveWell Georgetown County is a coalition led by Tidelands Health that uses evidence-based interventions to advance health promotion through all stages of life, with a strong focus on nutrition and obesity prevention, improved physical activity and reducing the incidence and severity of chronic diseases. LiveWell was established in 2018 with support from The Duke Endowment through its Healthy People, Healthy Carolinas initiative.
    About Tidelands Health
    Tidelands Health is the region’s largest health care provider and MUSC Health affiliate, serving the Carolinas at four hospitals and more than 60 outpatient locations. More than 2,500 employee, physician and volunteer partners work side by side with our communities to transform the health of our region – promoting wellness, preventing illness, encouraging recovery and restoring health.