Cincinnati Family Magazine

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February 23, 2024

Health and Literacy with Beech Acres

Even the pickiest eaters couldn’t get enough do-it-yourself veggie pizza at this week’s health literacy fair at Sayler Park Elementary School on Nov. 3. Beech Acres Parenting Center hosted the event, with support from the National Center for Families Learning (NCFL), to celebrate National Family Literacy Month. The families who attended are taking part in Toyota Family Learning, a program that Beech Acres and the NCFL host in three Cincinnati Public Schools.

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For the veggie pizza demonstration, the “chef” led them through the process of selecting a variety of brightly colored vegetables to go with their easy-to-make dough and sauce. This yummy experience was grand finale in a series of different stations designed to educate and excite families about preparing and eating healthy food together. The kids also got to make fruit kabobs and trail mix, hear a reading of the book, “Gregory the Terrible Eater,” learn about the importance of drinking water, and try a few yoga poses.

Picking out recipes, preparing meals, making healthy choices, and eating meals together are all great ways for children and parents to bond. They can use their time together to talk about their day and strengthen skills like reading.

“Spending time in the kitchen with your children is an opportunity to spend quality time learning together, encouraging curiosity, and getting children interested in trying healthy foods,” said Jim Mason, president and CEO of Beech Acres Parenting Center. “This special event highlights the Parent and Child Together Time component that’s a key part of our Toyota Family Learning program at Beech Acres.”

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Beech Acres is one of 10 NCFL partner organizations hosting community events during November to mark National Family Literacy Month. NCFL is a leader in family learning initiatives and has developed a 2-generation solution to educational challenges that is being employed across the United States. Health, finance, and reading literacy, along with STEM-based activities and civic engagement, are included in NCFL’s groundbreaking family learning programs.

“When parents and children come together to learn and serve their communities, the whole family is lifted up,” said Sharon Darling, president and founder of NCFL. “Parents become better teachers, children do better in school, families build relationships with other families and communities grow stronger.”

To learn more about National Family Literacy Month, visit or

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