In order for children to enter school ready to learn, they must be healthy - both physically and emotionally. Smart Start communities work at the local level to address health needs of young children. Here we provide just a few examples of local activities in the area of health...


Vision and Hearing Screenings

Communities coordinate with local health professionals to provide screenings to young children at health fairs, school events, and child care centers.

Dental Health

Many communities are educating parents on the importance of oral health for their children. By partnering with local dentists, communities have addressed oral health issues by public awareness, oral health tips, and dental screenings. In Ponca City, hundreds of children were screened during the Give Kids a Smile event for Kay County. One community has implemented an early childhood dental education project, Tiny Teeth. This curriculum has been integrated into existing programs such as Children First, Oklahoma Parents as Teachers, Head Start, Women, Infants and Children and with family physicians in hospitals.

Play This Weigh

By partnering with local Turning Points (Oklahoma's Health Initiative), communities hold this event in conjunction with Walk this Weigh. Not only is it used as a public awareness campaign for healthy lifestyles, children of all ages participate in fun, exercise activities and learn about proper nutrition. This project establishes healthy behaviors early in a child's life.

Car Seat Safety

Local Smart Starts often hold car seat safety checks as either a stand alone event or included in larger health and community fairs. Families are invited to the events and receive a car seat "safety check".

Infant Mental Health

In response to the concerns of Enid teachers and child care providers on children's social and emotional development affects in the classroom, Smart Start Northwest sponsored Dr. Becky Bailey's Conscious Discipline training to provide much needed support to over 250 teachers, providers, and parents. Parents and professionals learned practical and proven strategies for dealing with social and emotional issues such as behavior, relationships, and aggression. Kay County Smart Start is working to enhance the development and support needed for young children and their families. In partnership with OSU Extension and Ponca City Public Schools, the I Can Problem Solve Program helps young children build their social competency and problem solving skills - two areas associated with healthy social and emotional development of young children. Hope for Tomorrow was introduced to parents to ensure they have information on the importance of their mental health and how their mental health is critically connected to the development and health of their children.


Play Areas for Children


Communities are providing technical assistance, expertise, and leadership in order to address the lack of appropriate play and recreational areas for families in their communities. In Stillwater, Smart Start North Central Oklahoma was instrumental in leading the community project to build a new playground designed for and by the children of a local elementary school. After months of planning and donations from over 50 local businesses, partners came together in one day to build the playground. Said principal Megan Matthews, "If we want a world full of healthy and successful adults, we need to create a world where kids can play. This has truly been the epitome of the community coming together to help make this playground park a success."

This project was recognized as a Make a Difference Day honorable mention in USA Weekend magazine.

200 OK


The server encountered an internal error or misconfiguration and was unable to complete your request.

Please contact the server administrator, [no address given] and inform them of the time the error occurred, and anything you might have done that may have caused the error.

More information about this error may be available in the server error log.