Review by: Janie Sailors, RN, BSN, NCSN, Health and EHS Specialist, TTAS at WKU - September 16, 2013
Those in early education settings understand that health is the foundation of learning. However, really useful classroom resources to support and enrich wellness and learning are scarce and can be difficult to access. Filling that void has been Redleaf Press's Growing, Growing Strong: A Whole Health Curriculum for Young Children. It is most exciting that this material is now updated and invigorated and not only offered as a series but also in specific topics that can be accessed as individual needs arise. I encourage everyone to take a close look at this incredible resource!
Review by: Paula Mydlenski, MS, RD, CDN, Registered & Licensed Dietitian and Nutritionist, TTAS, WKU - September 10, 2013
What a healthy breath of fresh air this series is! Finally—active, everyday learning idea books around health and nutrition that imbed positive adult-child interactions.
Review by: Dr. Amy S. Hood, early childhood specialist, Morgantown, KY - August 29, 2013
Children have the abilities to develop healthy habits if we provide them with the information they need, in ways they can understand. This book outlines resources and appropriate activities that will help anyone working with young children learn how to help them learn and begin building those lifelong habits!
Review by: Holly Bruno, MA, JD, author, speaker, adjunct instructor at Wheelock College - August 28, 2013
Thanks to the Growing, Growing Strong series, you will never run out of resources or ideas on how to help children be safe, fit, and healthy. The authors wisely include tips and activities for families to do at home. Easy to follow, easy to use, this book is easy to like.
Review by: Patricia Dischler, author, NAFCC President, and nationally recognized speaker - August 28, 2013
The books in the series, Growing, Growing Strong: A Whole Health Curriculum for Young Children, provide a comprehensive resource for providers and teachers when supporting children in learning more about themselves, each other, and their communities. Children are provided experiences that help them to better understand how to care for their bodies, their environments, and each other. Learning takes place through thoughtful conversations and strategic supports. Children are given freedom to explore the topics, ask questions, and interact with items that help them problem solve and build their understanding. Activities involve the use of a wide variety of mediums and supplies, allowing children freedom of choice as they explore and express themselves. Many activities create a connection to the community, utilizing real life experiences through field trips and connections to others by inviting in guests to share knowledge and stories. All of the material is presented in a way that is very respectful to individual preferences, experiences, fears, interests and cultures. The vocabulary and supplies lists are very helpful in setting up a physical and emotional environment that supports exploration and learning. The activities are open-ended, engaging, and build from the child's previous knowledge. The set would be a valuable addition to any provider or teacher's library.
Review by: Alisa S. Ghazvini, PhD, early childhood consultant & former teacher and director - August 28, 2013
The health habits developed in early childhood lay an important foundation for lifelong attitudes and practices. Smith, Hendricks, and Bennett have created a whole health curriculum for young children, designed to empower and enable the adults in children's lives to introduce important topics and help young children develop appropriate health knowledge and skills. The five books, addressing Body Care, Fitness and Nutrition, Safety, Social and Emotional Well-being, and Community and Environment, all include clear learning objectives, suggestions for evaluating children's understanding of topics, a variety of activity ideas, and family information and take-home activities. The authors have carefully woven issues of culture, language, and special needs throughout the curriculum and have found a way to address difficult topics (such as death, weapons, and drugs) in an appropriate, matter-of-fact manner that communicates confidence and not fear. This resource should be a part of every early childhood environment!
Review by: Luis Hernandez, MA, T/TAS At WKU, early childhood education specialist, speaker, author - August 28, 2013
In a world consumed by the need for regular fitness regiments and the adherence to strict nutrition guidelines, many individuals and families remain confused, lost, or amused. It is refreshing to have a new edition of Growing, Growing Strong. The comprehensiveness of the topics covered in the updated five books are current in their approach with related research, ideas, best practices, and good common sense. No guilt anywhere! Anyone trying to change set behaviors of eating and regular exercise know the challenges of doing so. The authors remind us that it is all about good early childhood—positive relationships with others and understanding our human emotions. Congratulations to Connie Jo Smith, Charlotte M. Hendricks, and Becky S. Bennett for designing and creating a healthy menu of ideas and resources that teachers, families, and others case use promptly.
Review by: Marna Holland, EdD, CFCS, licensed birth-kindergarten, physical, health, FACS educator - August 28, 2013
As an early childhood educator, I am always looking for new ideas for teaching preschoolers healthy habits that will serve them throughout life. The Growing, Growing Strong curriculum offers exactly what a busy teacher needs to provide a comprehensive health curriculum. Simple but meaningful activities, learning objectives, new vocabulary, ideas for enhancing the learning environment, extension activities, and even handouts for parents—it's all here. The new series format makes it even easier to find what I am looking for quickly. Make room on your desk—this is an invaluable resource you will reach for again and again!
Review by: Sherri Meyer, adjunct faculty at Western Kentucky University - August 28, 2013
This book is a wonderful resource for teaching preschool children to care for their body. The informative and engaging family activities at the end of each chapter encourages families to be involved and better understand the transfer of knowledge to home and the important role that families play in helping teach their children about caring for their body.
Review by: S.D. Palmer, MD, Fellow, AAP, Clinical Professor of Pediatrics Univ. AL School of Medicine - August 28, 2013
The new and reformatted edition of Growing, Growing Strong: A Whole Health Curriculum for Young Children is impressive. An unusual learning tool is the appearance of a vocabulary for each section, with the expected words but also some words which would be usefully mind stretching for the children. Communication and interaction with parents are stressed, with take-home material, as well as downloadable material, is presented. I was impressed, too, with the sensitivity with which alcohol and tobacco use is presented, with awareness of parental practices and home environment, yet calling a spade a spade, and not a shovel. A section on bullying is well presented and highly appropriate in our times. These and other attributes of this publication make it easier for the teacher to integrate comprehensive health education into the existing curriculum. The authors, with massive experience in various aspects of child health education, have accomplished their goal well. It makes for fun reading for those of us who are post-kindergarten, too.
Review by: Beth Schaeffer, Warren County Public Schools, Bowling Green, KY - August 28, 2013
The Growing, Growing Strong series provides teachers with dynamic activities for young learners and supports the diversity each learner brings. The content is reflective of our fast paced society, weaving a wealth of concepts and rich vocabulary throughout each volume and preparing young children as they develop and become responsible for their own healthy lifestyles. This series gives teachers the tools to help children begin to make informed choices based on the hows and whys of a healthy lifestyle and leaves the door wide open for partnerships with families and community members. What a gift for our young children and our future!
Review by: Beverly Zanchetti Smith, MEd, Ohio Statewide Consultant for the Early Intervention Grant - August 28, 2013
For early childhood educators, this comprehensive health curriculum provides all the necessary tools for building a strong foundation of health awareness for young learners. The variety of multi-sensory activities suggested in this curriculum sets the stage for learners of all ability levels to grow in self-awareness. The suggested parent/home activities round out the curriculum by recognizing the importance of the parent/caregiver influence on young children.