As the school year begins in the Diocese of Brooklyn, children as young as age three will learn about health and wellness, thanks to a $73,000 grant from the Fidelis Care Catholic Schools Grant Fund.
“Through the generosity of Fidelis Care, the staff of the Office of the Superintendent-Catholic School Support Services will be able to expand the Health and Wellness Program into the Early Childhood Programs within the diocese,” said Dr. Thomas Chadzutko, superintendent of schools. “Building partnerships through these various initiatives with Fidelis Care has allowed us and will continue to allow us to provide services and programs to families within the Diocese of Brooklyn.”
Children ages three to five in 30 schools and academies with high Latino enrollment will benefit from the expanded programs. The grant enables the Office of the Superintendent-Catholic School Support Services to provide professional development for early childhood teachers and staff in the implementation of the Health and Wellness curriculum. The curriculum will include programs about health and wellness issues in early childhood for students and parents as well as take-home materials and resources to support healthy eating and living habits. The diocese will be working with St. Joseph’s College, Clinton Hill, to develop the curriculum.
The Office of the Superintendent-Catholic School Support Services has previously worked with Fidelis Care to develop a health and wellness program for first- through eighth-grade students.
“Our commitment to health goes beyond the members we serve,” said Father Patrick J. Frawley, Fidelis Care president and CEO. “We value and support efforts to help children develop healthy habits for life. In this case, we are reaching a truly underserved population, which is in line with our mission to help those in need.”
Fidelis Care makes regular distributions from its Catholic Schools Grant Fund to schools across New York state. Each grant is awarded in coordination with the bishops of New York.
This year, Fidelis Care awarded more than $420,000 statewide.