By Carol C. Neugent
Working to make a difference, members of the Haysville Healthy Habits Community Coalition (H3) strive to help youths replace unhealthy habits with healthy ones.
A partnership between the Sedgwick County Regional Prevention Center, city of Haysville and the Haysville School District, H3 members and volunteers include citizens, staff and local officials.
H3 president Judy Kampsula is very excited about the work being done by the group. She said that if children and youth are involved, H3 has a presence.
“We help at the Campus Reality U., National Night Out, and try to hold a town hall meeting every one to two years,” Kampsula said. “We also have a table during Campus and middle school orientations.”
Organized in 2005 as the Haysville Drug-Free Coalition, the original focus was on underage drinking, excessive drinking, and drug use. The idea soon surfaced that part of the solution to those problems was to replace unhealthy behavior with more healthy behavior. The new vision developed into H3.
The focus remains on children, youth, and young adults, but H3 is taking a more intergenerational approach through family and community involvement.
“We involve other generations as a way to enhance the connection between youth and older adults,” Kampsula said. “This is a way for everyone to appreciate each other’s contributions and value.”
One of H3’s newest initiatives is the H3 Parent Network. The Parent Network consists of local parents who agree to supervise any gatherings or parties for youths at their home. These parents further agree not to provide alcohol or drugs.
“Parents can access the network through our website (haysvillehealthyhabitscc.webs.com) and check on parties their children want to attend,” Kampsula said. “Paige Crum handles the Parent Network for us.”
According to Kampsula, H3 already has around 100 parents who have taken the pledge. The group is working on expanding this base and encourages parents to access the website for more information and to enroll in the network.
The H3 website and Facebook page are maintained by Campus junior Olyvia Crum. Because H3 meetings are during the day, Olyvia often had conflicts with school and couldn’t attend.
“I am quite pleased I can be involved without having things that conflict,” she said.
Olyvia is especially happy with the group’s Facebook page and explains that most of their daily activity comes through that page.
“More people are likely to ‘like’ a Facebook page than visit a website,” Crum said.
Funding is always tight for the group.
“We rely on fundraisers and small grants,” Kampsula said.
She added that they are always looking for new members. The group meets from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on the third Wednesday at the Learning Center. Their next meeting is June 19.