After having her son in 2005, Treve’s wife, Dana Suazo, started visiting a gym to get in shape and exercise. Thinking about her health, and the health of her son, made her realize how important it was to have healthy kids in the community. Starting as a volunteer, Dana Souzo has helped a Colorado based non-profit 501(c)(3) Healthy Learning Paths succeed in their mission to “Be Well, Learn Well” using an evidence based curriculum. Now as an employee, she helps empower kids, parents, teachers and the community at large with knowledge, and strategies for success in health, learning and life.
Healthy Learning Paths
A physician by trade and philanthropist at heart, board-certified family medicine physician Chris Marchioni, MD, spent years observing the toll that unhealthy habits take on children. In 2005, Dr. Marchioni took action by giving up her practice and establishing Healthy Learning Paths, a model of healthcare designed to empower children and families to take control of their health by arming them with scientific knowledge.
“As a physician, I saw too many kids develop serious and preventable diseases such as anxiety, depression, obesity and Type 2 diabetes—chronic illnesses that were once only seen in adults,” Dr. Marchioni says. “Something needed to be done.”
Kids are struggling with health issues and they need more help. According to Dr. Marchioni, communication was the missing link that could help enhance childhood health in the Longmont community. Dana pointed out that, “Most of the existing health programs are just about watching a video. Our lessons are taught directly to kids and parents in small groups by health professionals, including- family physicians, school psychologists and nutritionists.” Through Healthy Learning Paths, kids actively engage in the fun, dynamic, age-appropriate lessons using many skills—literacy, movement, fine and gross motor skill development, math and science, preparing and eating healthy foods, play and music. “We read a story, we discuss what we are going to do, then the kids get to do a lab, for example kids hear a story about Ava the avocado and they make guacamole.”
Here is a video of Caden doing a small part of the Ava the Avocado lesson. When you eat something with fat, you feed your heart and your brain. Your heart and your brain are hungry for healthy fats. Unhealthy fats clog arteries in the brain and heart. This leads to strokes and heart attacks. Caden explains why you should eat healthy fats found in avocados, olives, nuts, seeds, and salmon.
Proudly involved in our community
Whenever there is a fundraiser or gala, Platte River Networks is there to help. We sponsor, volunteer and participate in almost every event. We also sponsor the annual Frank Shorter 5k and Healthy Odyssey Expo, their biggest fundraiser for the year. The event helps build community where families get outdoors together doing something fun and active.