In honor of the 4th anniversary of First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! initiative this week, we are reprinting a series of blog posts from the Lets Move! blog. Below is the first post in this series, and was written by Dr. Alan B. Coleman. Dr. Coleman is a Councilmember for the City of Beaumont, Texas.
The City of Beaumont, Texas recently became the first Let’s Move! city, town or county to earn gold medals in all five goals of Let’s Move! Cities, Towns and Counties (LMCTC). Beaumont ranks first among over 400 communities participating in LMCTC. As Beaumont’s Councilmember, I am incredibly proud of our city’s accomplishments and we recently had the opportunity to showcase our success at the National League of Cities’ Congress of Cities conference. Beaumont is an example of how city government, the school district, hospitals, non-profits and the private sector can work together to help our most valuable asset – our children.
At the National League of Cities’ Congress of Cities and Exposition (CoC Conference), I had the privilege of highlighting opportunities Beaumont offers families to exercise together, including Moonlight Madness Bicycle Rides and the new Centennial All-Access Children’s Park. Beaumont is committed to sustaining the LMCTC ideals in the future, establishing a regional alliance to fight childhood obesity, and expanding fresh food opportunities to the food deserts in Beaumont.
It all started in January 2013 when I met with Beaumont’s City Manager, Assistant City Manager, Public Health Director and the Parks & Recreation Director to strategize how the city could earn five gold medals. We formed community partnerships and the city’s staff executed their plan to promote healthy lifestyles in Beaumont. Sherry Ulmer, Public Health Director and Ryan Slott, Parks & Recreation Director, led their departments’ success with the LMCTC goals.
And, Beaumont is proud of the wide range of city and private partners that helped us achieve LMCTC Goal I: Start Early, Start Smart, which focuses on helping early care and education program providers incorporate best practices for nutrition, physical activity and screen time into their programs. Some of our partners on include:
The Beaumont Public Health Department who plans childcare provider seminars;
- H-E-B Grocery who educates children on healthy lifestyles;
- The Beaumont Independent School District who is integral in the city’s school lunch program’s success; and
- The Beaumont Fire Department who reviews fire safety and code requirements with childcare providers.
These partners co-hosted a multi-purpose training seminar where local childcare providers learned and discussed nutrition and sanitation standards with a dietician. The seminar was well-attended, and Beaumont will host annual childcare seminars because of the first seminar’s success. Childcare provider Geri Smith said: “The seminar taught me how to make healthy changes to the meals and snacks I serve, and how to make physical activity fun!”
Our City’s partnerships propelled Beaumont to be a leading, healthy city on the move – learn more about how Beaumont is creating a brighter future for the city’s children here.
Read the accomplishments of this year’s other top achieving cities, towns and counties here.
Learn more about LMCTC, and how to become more involved with the initiative, here.