The Mission and Vision
The mission of Teach a Kid to Fish (TKF) is to prevent and reduce childhood obesity by empowering Lincoln children and families to eat healthy and be active. Teach a Kid to Fish envisions creating community solutions for children's health.
Teach a Kid to Fish is an organization dedicated to addressing the childhood obesity epidemic through utilization of the collaborative advantage. TKF is the only organization in Lincoln that is committed to uniting organizations and community members to focus on a shared mission and commit to implementing measurable solutions that prevent and reduce childhood obesity among Lincoln children.
The childhood obesity epidemic has reached alarming levels. It is an epidemic affecting not only the physical health of children, families, and community, but also their psychosocial, academic and economic potential. Multiple studies show increasing levels over the last thirty years, with a tripling of prevalence over that time period. Obese children face a myriad of health, emotional and social consequences as a result of this epidemic. At least 1/3 of Lincoln's children are considered overweight or obese. Minority children, impoverished children, and children who live in certain Lincoln neighborhoods without access to healthy foods and safe play spaces are disproportionately affected by the obesity epidemic. These populations have even higher rates of obesity, diabetes, early heart disease and are at risk for shorter life expectancies.
To carry out its mission and realize its vision, Teach a Kid to Fish has set the following long-term goals that this program plan will address:
Foster and facilitate partnerships among community organizations and members
Lower obesity rates in Lincoln children
Obtain measurable improvements in nutrition and physical activity in Lincoln children
Increase access to healthy foods and physical activity opportunities for all children and families
Advocate for policy changes in support of these goals
In pursuing these goals, Teach a Kid to Fish has identified values it will keep in mind as it addresses the epidemic of childhood obesity:
Organizational Objectives and Activities
Teach a Kid to Fish plans to work to attain our goals by meeting the following objectives:
Increase organizational capacity of TKF to better serve mission
Increase community awareness, participation and support of TKF mission
Increase working impact through expansion of each working group
Increase communication among and between working groups
Secure commitments from organizations representing all working group areas to implement recommended strategies including identifying “champions” in each working group area to lead the cause
Provide communications tools that advocate for greater physical activity throughout the community
Provide communications tools that focus on healthy eating throughout the community
To meet these objectives, Teach a Kid to Fish will engage in the following activities:
Design and implement a multi-tiered development plan to support TKF operations and activities
Design and implement a marketing plan to increase community awareness of TKF strategy and activities of TKF working groups
Identify an individual at each and every school in Lincoln to champion the cause of TKF and establish a way of sustaining this role at the schools
Coordinate efforts to address and prevent childhood obesity across government departments and jurisdictions
Actively promote message of 5-4-3-2-1-GO!
Promote breastfeeding, 30 to 60 minutes of physical activity, and consumption of a minimum of five fruits and vegetables a day in collaboration with ethnically specific organizations that target nutrition education outreach
Gather, organize, and disseminate resource materials via TKF website related to prevention and treatment of obesity
Prepare and publish multidisciplinary curriculum based on best practices for teaching patients about obesity prevention and treatment
Facilitate the implementation of the goals and strategies established by TKF working groups in the TKF Strategic Plan
Working Group Objectives and Activities
Using a best practice community multi-level collaborative model, TKF has fostered the development of six working groups made up of individuals and organizations representing the key policy sectors of our community. The working groups have committed to attacking this multi-dimensional epidemic by setting long-term and measurable objectives and identifying activities to engage in as we partner to carry out the mission of Teach a Kid to Fish.
The six working groups are:
Childcare and preschool providers
Governmental Policies and Programs
Businesses, worksites, restaurants
Community based organizations and Faith groups
To carry out the TKF goals, all working groups will:
Increase community awareness, participation and support of TKF mission
Collaborate with other working groups on specific initiatives and work to broaden the net of working group members.
Work with the TKF Board to prioritize the specific action plans of the working group
Promote consistent evidence-based prevention messages
Advocate for environmental and policy changes to increase opportunities for healthy eating and physical activity
Measuring outcomes offers an effective method of determining whether or not TKF is meeting its goals and achieving its mission. Important milestones and achievements key to goal realization are being identified to determine the effectiveness of both the short and long-term objectives. Singling out these factors provides an easy means for measuring the ongoing success of this TKF plan.
We are currently identifying specific criteria by which we will measure the effectiveness of our strategy. Comprehensive performance analysis tools and measurement criteria are developed to effectively monitor the success of the current system. These tools can be used to report both internally and externally on the progress of this strategic plan.
Evaluation: How can we measure our success?
1. Measure BMI and fitness levels in LPS students and develop a method to measure BMI in early childhood.
2. Track eating and physical activity behaviors of children
3. Ensure that a formal public health evaluation component is incorporated into the design of all projects and programs.
4. A developed best-practice guide implemented to evaluate our multi-level collaborative model.
Mobilizing and broadening (or widening) the net of working group members committed to promotion of the TKF mission are the next steps as we move forward with the strategic plan. Also prioritizing the action steps outlined in this strategic plan and developing and expanding our core initiatives.
Sustainability: How will our efforts continue?
The sustainability of this long-range plan will come with the committed partnerships being forged as we engage in finding this community solution to the epidemic of childhood obesity. To make systemic changes leading to healthy behavior changes in our community, will require engagement and collaboration of key stakeholders, organizational, and individual partners.
Teach a Kid to Fish has already taken the important first steps toward engaging the greater Lincoln community as we have endeavored to design this strategic plan through the working group model. As we grow and engage these working groups and implement these long-term plans we expect that our mission and vision will become sustainable and we will achieve our set goals.