Through the “Madres Walking to Health” program, Kathryn Saxton and Laura Chyu of Santa Clara University’s Public Health Program propose to develop a sustainable community health program for the parents and their children at Washington Elementary School.
Through the “Madres Walking to Health” program, Katherine Saxton and Laura Chyu of Santa Clara University’s Public Health Program aim to develop a sustainable, community-based health program for the parents and their children at Washington Elementary School.
“Madres Walking to Health” focuses on supporting and expanding upon a walking group that already existed within the Madre a Madre group at Washington Elementary. Chyu and Saxton hope to not only help revitalize and expand this program, but also to foster a collaborative, community spirit among the parents of Washington Elementary with the goal of promoting physical, mental, and social well-being.
Parents in the Madre a Madre group at Washington have expressed strong interest in increasing physical activity for themselves as well as their children. Walking groups are a relatively simple, cost-effective way for parents to promote physical activity and have consistently demonstrated significant health benefits. The walking group, also known as Camino a la Salud, meets regularly 2-3 times per week and walk around the field at Washington Elementary. Public Health students and faculty have collected survey data on participants’ health and well-being and have worked closely with the mothers to expand the group’s activities to include Zumba classes.
Quote from Participating Mother
“I was able to make more friends, which was beautiful because I became very close to other mothers. We were able to establish a connection, because we are all mothers who want to exercise.” – Community Member and participant in Camino a la Salud
Quote from Participating SCU Student
“It allowed me to apply the content in class to real life and it encouraged me to make the valuable connections that are necessary to really understand what you are learning and experiencing. It shows SCU students what real people experience every day in communities that may differ from our own communities. It provides students with an insight of the injustices that exist in certain communities. It also helps students learn what community organizing is and how to do it….this experience has helped me identify the injustices that exist in these communities and what can be done to combat these injustices. I feel that I can help create positive change for these communities so that they can live healthier, dignified lives.” – Public Health student