The Winter Park Health Foundation (WPHF) focuses on improving health in the communities of Winter Park, Maitland and Eatonville. Through ongoing data collection and monitoring trends, our team identifies health issues and needs. Our strategy is to engage partners and empower residents to support healthy behaviors; address barriers to health; create healthy habits where people live, learn, work and play; and make health a priority.
Our Spring 2022 funding efforts support projects that focus on physical, social and emotional health. WPHF is proud to fund these important initiatives that underscore our mission of optimizing the health and wellbeing of residents from Eatonville, Maitland and Winter Park.
Keep reading to learn more about our most recent round of grant funding:
Bicycle Safety Education for Winter Park Consortium Elementary School Students:
Orange County Public Schools utilizes bike trailers – trailers stocked with bicycles and scooters of assorted sizes, plus helmets – to provide bicycle safety education to elementary school students throughout the school district. Due to COVID restrictions, bike safety education was paused for two years. During this time, the bicycle safety equipment was left untouched in the bike trailers, which has resulted in many safety issues like cracked tires and decomposing helmets. The district anticipates the return of bicycle safety education for the 2022-23 school year, but first, all bicycle safety equipment housed in the bike trailers will need to be inspected and if necessary, repaired or replaced. Once completed, these bike trailers will help ensure all K-5 students from Eatonville, Maitland and Winter Park have an opportunity to learn and practice bike safety. A grant from WPHF will support the maintenance, replacement, and coordination for the OCPS Bike Trailers used in elementary schools that lie within the WPHF impact area.
Juneteenth with Scholar Rae Chesny
In January 2022, WPHF, through the Center for Health & Wellbeing, partnered with the Orange County Public Library System’s Eatonville Branch (OCPLS-EB) to provide complimentary education programs by Rae Chesny, Zora Neale Hurston Scholar and an award-winning social education expert, author, and Johns Hopkins University Literary Consultant. New funding awarded in April of 2022 will support the hosting of three events with Rae in celebration of Juneteenth and Zora Neale Hurston’s Central Florida legacy. They are:
- Zora’s Garden
Celebrate Juneteenth with a fun, interactive storytime for children with Zora Neale Hurston Scholar Rae Chesny’s new children’s book “Zora’s Garden.” Children will learn about Zora Neale Hurston, her love of gardening, and her life as a child in Eatonville.
- Zora Neale Hurston: Deep Roots and Cultural Heritage
Residents will celebrate Juneteenth with a conversation about the life of Zora Neale Hurston, led by Chesny, who will share how the daughter of an enslaved person, trained anthropologist, and prolific storyteller worked to preserve cultural heritage throughout the African Diaspora.
- Zora Neale Hurston: The Storyteller and Her Town – Walking Tour in Town of Eatonville
Eatonville comes to life from the pages of Zora Neale Hurston’s “Their Eyes Were Watching God.” Explore the real town of Eatonville during this walking tour while learning about Zora alongside Scholar Rae Chesny. See town landmarks and hear about the impactful legacy of Zora.
Community Health Worker Pilot
Through knowledge of the community they serve, and familiarity with the culture and traditions of a community, Community Health Workers (CHW) build trust and play a vital role in connecting individuals with resources to meet their unique health needs. Through this CHW pilot project, Winter Park Health Foundation and the Central Florida Foundation will work closely together with the Alliance for Community Health to determine best practices for CHWs and opportunities for replication and sustainability.
Winter Park Public Library Teen Advisory Board Scholarship Fund
The Winter Park Public Library Teen Advisory Board is a council of teen leaders who improve their community by committing their time and talents to the Winter Park Public Library in the form of service, promotion and advocacy. It provides an opportunity for teens to have a voice in the materials and services offered to teen patrons of the Winter Park Public Library, earn volunteer hours and have fun. Additionally, members of the Teen Advisory Board create and deliver an annual fundraiser for the Winter Park Public Library Teen Advisory Board Scholarship Fund. A grant allocation from WPHF for this project will provide an additional source of matching funds for the total amount raised by the Teen Advisory Board.
Town of Eatonville Summer Recreation Program
After a four-year hiatus, the Town of Eatonville plans to offer a summer recreation program for Eatonville school-aged children in June and July 2022. The program will be supported by a partnership developed between the Town of Eatonville, Orange County Library System – Eatonville Branch and Orange County Career Source. A community conversation revealed there is a concern about Eatonville youth who are home without supervision and structured activities. While many Eatonville youth attend the Joe R. Lee Boys & Girls Club summer program, it is common for the Club to close participation due to capacity. The Town’s summer recreation program will provide an alternative to youth when the Boys & Girls Club reaches capacity and for those youth where the Boys & Girls Club may not be a fit.