Donation meant to teach children healthy habits

By Kelly Doran

July 29, 2014

LIMA — Procter & Gamble’s recent donation to Kindergarten Kamp provided 92 pupils with supplies to support clean and healthy habits.

“One of the things that’s really important for us in our lives is to be healthy, right?” Phil Hayne, president and CEO of United Way of Greater Lima, said to the pupils.

They enthusiastically responded, “Yeah!”

Hayne presented the pupils with blue P&G backpacks full of supplies such as detergent, mouthwash, deodorant and soap, during the camp Tuesday. Supplies are not just for the children, but for family members as well.

This is the first time Procter & Gamble has donated these backpacks to the camp, according to Hayne. He said that he made the request and Procter & Gamble was able to help because of extra funds.

“One of the things we try to do is to try and teach children healthy habits, and to do it early in their life is really, really important because through that they can learn these behaviors now,” Hayne said.

United Way of Greater Lima funds the camp with an Impact Grant, Dawn Smith, Kindergarten Kamp coordinator, said. The camp runs from July 7 to Aug. 7 from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays.

Children are provided with free transportation to and from camp, free breakfast and free lunch, according to Smith. The camp has 96 spots available.

The goal of Kindergarten Kamp is to teach children learning skills in order to prepare them for kindergarten, including learning subjects such as math, but also social skills, Smith said. The halls of Unity Elementary School are lined with different projects the children have done, such as coloring and putting feathers on turkeys, which can turn into a math lesson, Smith said as an example, because the children will then count the feathers.

“Everyone is different, so the skills that they take away or the thing that they learn is different for everyone,” Smith said.

Even the pet rocks the campers designed become a lesson in decision making.

Children get to do a variety of activities, including things that inner city children do not get to do or see regularly, such as bringing in different animals. The campers also got to hatch chickens, according to Smith.

All the lessons taught at the camp are aligned with Ohio Kindergarten Standards and Ohio Early Learning Standards, according to Smith. The camp is a collaboration between Lima City Schools, the Lima Allen Council on Community Affairs and the Family and Children First Council.

“I think that is very meaningful for these children and for these families sometimes who don’t have access to a lot of these healthy things and if we can do this for them now hopefully they’ll see it’s important for them to keep it going in their lives,” Hayne said.