In 2010, author and illustrator Kirsten Klug created the Healthy & Fun Choices™ activity workbook to open the lines of communication between children and parents regarding healthy, fun choices. After physicians, dentists and teachers purchased copies of the books for their patients/students, Kirsten Klug realized there was a bigger neeed: programming.
In June of 2010, Kirsten was invited to speak at an assembly for 350 students at the Boys & Girls Club of Salem, Oregon. The workshop was a lot of fun and many of the students and teachers had “aha” moments that were life changing. Kirsten gave the kids a healthy challenge: to drink only water for one week. After that, one boy decided to cut out cola from his diet and just drink water and milk. He asked his parents if they could save up money and go to the beach as a reward. He achieved his dream and realized how powerful healthy decisions can be. Kirsten was invited back to present additional hands-on workshops and be part of the health fair later that fall.
In 2011 in order to allow the books to be introduced in the retail market, Kirsten created five more books. That summer the books were sold through retail channels and at many local health fairs. The Oregon is Fun! Rain or Sun! book was selected by Made in Oregon and Powell’s stores. In the fall, Kirsten met a PE teacher at John Wetten Elementary and was asked to speak to their 786 students in January and give the students books as well. The program was very successful, it complemented the other healthy initiative changes the school was making and the elementary school was excited to received second-year funding.
In the spring of 2012, Kirsten created two new books and the Yes! I Am! Yes! I Can! Book was endorsed by National author Jeffrey Gitomer. Later that year, we received four corporate sponsors, which enabled Healthy & Fun Choices™ to be offered in Cascade Heights Charter school and a variety of other public schools within North Clackamas School District and Portland Public School District.
In 2013, Kirsten’s efforts were focused on elementary schools and reached 8 classrooms and 450 students. The teachers were impressed with the workshop and books, and many of them scheduled workshops for the beginning of 2013 school year. Pre- and Post-Assessment testing was done and are showing positive change results around increasing color food choices, increasing physical activity and decreasing screen time.