AUSTIN – After ten years of building healthier communities through children's health and science education, today the HealthStart Foundation took another step in its evolution by naming Javier Valdez its Executive Director, effective 10/12/2020.
Valdez joins the organization with 25 years of experience as a corporate executive and nonprofit leader. Professionally, his prior roles have included senior leadership roles at Oracle, Electronic Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) and Cisco Systems, Inc., among others. In the community, he’s led several local and national nonprofits, including Breakthrough Central TX, Con Mi Madre and the Economic Growth Business Incubator (EGBI).
“Our organization operates at a unique intersection of health, community and technology, which is what makes Javier such a great leader to lead us into the future,” said Kate Norton, Board Chair for HealthStart Foundation. “His technology, sales, and operations experience will help us expand the reach of our programs while his nonprofit leadership experience will ensure the technology never overshadows the human connections crucial for any community program.”
A native of El Paso, Texas, and a Central Texas resident for 20 years, Valdez has seen firsthand the importance of empowering communities to take their health into their own hands through education and outreach. Personally, he’s an avid cyclist and believer in the power of community to positively change lives.
According to Valdez, “In both my nonprofit and professional involvement, I’ve been drawn to endeavors where a great idea or product is poised to scale, and that’s what I believe I can bring to HealthStart Foundation. There is so much potential in the organization’s programs, curriculum and resources, and I look forward to partnering with the team to explore how we can share those with broader audiences.”
About HealthStart Foundation
Since 2010, HealthStart Foundation's early, science-based health education programs have set a strong foundation for a healthier tomorrow. HealthStart teaches kids the science behind good health with lessons on how our bodies work and the food and fitness activities to keep every part of the body healthy and strong. HealthStart kids also learn when they care for one another and our environment, they help build healthy communities. To learn more, visit www.healthstartfoundation.org.
AUSTIN - The HealthStart Foundation has received a grant from the Alice Kleberg Reynolds Foundation, a private foundation based in Austin, TX, in the amount of $7,500 for the continued development of HealthStart’s Snack Science Video Series (SSVS).
“The need for children’s science and health education will not disappear when COVID-19 is under control. In fact, this pandemic has only emphasized the urgency for ensuring our kids have the tools to understand how their bodies work and the importance of taking care of themselves with sound health practices.” explains founder Robin Herskowitz.
This grant will help expand the SSVS library and continue the development of accompanying materials for educators to easily incorporate the SSVS program in their elementary school science, health, and physical education classrooms. The SSVS has extended HealthStart's reach outside of Central Texas, to 48 states and 18 countries, increasing their impact more than ever before.
The videos' health-science lessons explain how to prevent disease and maintain physical and mental wellbeing. Teachers and parents will find science experiments, physical activities, snack recipes, and opportunities for students to practice new skills like putting on a mask or maintaining proper social distance.
To learn more about HealthStart’s Snack Science Video Series, visit www.healthstartfoundation.org/snackscience
About Alice Kleberg Reynolds Foundation: The Alice Kleberg Reynolds Foundation makes grants to qualified non-profit organizations serving 50 specific counties in south and central Texas. They award grants for arts/culture, charitable, education, literacy, medical and scientific purposes.
Did someone say virtual happy hour?
We are less than a month away from HealthStart's Cooking 4 Kids Virtual Gala on September 17th. The event officially starts at 7pm CST, but if you tune in at 6:50pm (just 10 minutes early) you can join us a for a virtual happy hour, sponsored by Still Austin Whiskey Co.!
HealthStart Sharon will serve up a delicious Blackberry Ginger Smash, plus an alcohol-free mocktail for your kids to enjoy! There’s even a healthy boost of antioxidants in there from the blackberries so you can drink AND be healthy. We will provide the recipe for both our antioxidant filled concoctions prior to the event so you can make them right along with us at home.
So, come early, have a drink, and enjoy the celebration on September 17th!
Each year we host a gala to raise funds to support HealthStart's mission, programs, and community. With your support, we have provided thousands of young kids and their families with the tools to build a healthy future.
This year, our goal is to raise $30,000 to get internet-ready tablets in the hands of 100 low-income families who live in housing managed by the Housing Authority of the City of Austin (HACA).
It has never been more critical for children to know how their bodies work and how to keep themselves healthy. That’s why on April 1st, HealthStart launched our Snack Science Video Series to teach young children and their families critical skills to not only prevent illness but to set the foundation to make good health choices for life. The tablets will provide these families with access to this vital resource to teach them how to stay healthy, happy, and return to school safely.
Few HACA residents have internet-ready devices at home. The few places where they could use computers and tablets, such as resident community rooms and public libraries, remain shut because of the pandemic. Money raised from our Cooking 4 Kids Virtual Gala will help us eliminate this barrier to learning for these low-income children and their families.
Together we can build a healthier future for our children. Get your tickets now and join us on September 17th, 7 PM CST.
Join us for HealthStart's first-ever Cooking 4 Kids Virtual Gala on September 17th at 7pm CST!
Begin by joining us for a VIRTUAL HAPPY HOUR before our event begins. HealthStart Sharon will serve up signature cocktails both you and your little ones can enjoy!
Find something you love. Bid on some fantastic silent auction items, full of experiences you can do right from your own home!
Then get out your chef hats and watch how world-class Chef, Robert “Bobo” Surles, whips up his famous Jambalaya!
Learn about HealthStart’s impact from our amazing speakers.
Best of all, your support helps HealthStart build a healthier future for our children.
Register now for your FREE ticket.
The HealthStart Foundation is pleased to announce that we have received a Google Grants award. The Google Grants program supports registered nonprofit organizations that share Google’s philosophy of community service to help the world in areas such as science and technology, education, global public health, the environment, youth advocacy, and the arts. Google Grants is an in-kind advertising program that awards free online advertising to nonprofits via Google AdWords.
We are beyond grateful to receive the Google Grant award. Our new Snack Science Video Series will be a focal point in working with the grant. This award will allow HealthStart to expand our reach and awareness outside of Central Texas and help families all over the country find the resources they need to stay healthy and strong.
“Our goal is that every parent who has found themselves in the role of home school parent has the tools to help their child build a foundation to make good health decisions for life.” – Robin Herskowitz, Founder
The HealthStart Foundation is a local nonprofit that has been helping kids and their families build good health habits since 2010 through science-based health education. HealthStart pivoted to producing videos of their award-winning health-science lessons in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Their Snack Science lessons for children 3 to 10 years of age are available for free online to keep young children healthy, happy, and learning.
HealthStart’s Snack Science Video series can be found at www.healthstartfoundation.org/snackscience.
The “What are You Feeding?” program helps students establish healthy eating habits.
In February 2020 HealthStart Foundation will launch the “What Are You Feeding?” (WAYF) Cafeteria Nutrition Education Program with a grant from the L’Aiglon Foundation. HealthStart is a nonprofit organization, dedicated to building healthier Texas communities through early health education. L’Aiglon Foundation, headquartered in Kingsville, Texas , has supported programs in Kingsville schools and community efforts since 1982. The 2 ½ year pilot program will take place in four Kingsville area Independent School Districts: Driscoll ISD, Kingsville ISD, Ricardo ISD, and Santa Gertrudis ISD.
HealthStart Foundation thrives off of the talented individuals who choose to intern and volunteer with our organization. We strive to create a unique and tailored experience that gives each person who shares their talents with the organization a chance to shine!
In fact, past Monstralia Game Design Interns, Audrey Alexander (Sp18) and Lance Jasper (F17) recently shared their experiences with the St. Edwards University Game Changers blog. You can read more here: https://www.stedwards.edu/articles/featured-stories/2018/07/game-changers
If you are interested in sharing your talents. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information about open positions!
HealthStart Foundation, a nonprofit organization, dedicated to helping change the health of its community through early health education, will be awarded the 2019 Texas Health Champion Award. This honor is bestowed by the Michael & Susan Dell Center for Healthy Living, a UTHealth School of Public Health research center, as part of the 12th Annual Texas Obesity Awareness Week. HealthStart Foundation will be honored at the Texas Health Champion Award Ceremony on September 12, 2019, at the Dell Medical School Health Discovery Building Auditorium.
HealthStart Foundation seeks a part time Health Programs Communications Coordinator for Fall 2019 and beyond.
Visit http://bit.ly/hsfjobf19 to see the full posting and how to apply!