Healthy Play Initiative

Last year, Arlington Food Assistance Center imagined a program in which young children could learn healthy habits while their parents picked up groceries each week and thought Encore would be the perfect partner to help bring the program to life!

The Healthy Play Initiative (HPI), launched in September 2016, combines AFAC’s nutritional knowledge with Encore’s theatrical expertise, and the participating preschoolers are having a blast. Each Friday afternoon, Encore’s Teaching Artists hold class at the community center at the Gates of Ballston, where they lead children in exercises involving movement and imagination, including learning theatre games, creating new dance steps, and more. The children—many of whom are bi-lingual—also have a chance to practice their language skills and frequently enjoy watching and performing in puppet shows with Encore’s two HPI mascots, Eat Healthy Enrique and Get Moving Mona.