Thank you to East Central Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission (ECWRPC) for being a long-term and loyal partner of re:TH!NK. ECWRPC has done a lot of work with re:THINK’s Active Communities and Social Connectedness teams, especially in our latest project. ECWRPC staff Tyler DeBruin and Ashley Tracy from the Safe Routes to School program helped tremendously to make the pop-up crosswalk happen on 5th Avenue and Knapp Street in the Sacred Heard Neighborhood of Oshkosh. Tyler also co-presented at the 2019 Wisconsin Public Health Association conference about re:TH!NK’s whole experience with the pop-up crosswalk project. His technical expertise was a tremendous asset and contributed to the success of the project.
Big kudos to Alana Erickson for taking the lead on coordinating several community book reads throughout Winnebago County! So far, there has been a community book read in Neenah with 8 participants, Winneconne with 7 participants, and Oshkosh with 6 participants. re:TH!NK is still interested in hosting a discussion in Menasha and Omro. (If you want to partner email: firstname.lastname@example.org). re:TH!NK has received 30 donated books and has had 38 requests to borrow the book! Through the 3 events hosted so far, there has been 22 attendees at the book discussions. re:TH!NK has five major partners involved in the book reads and is currently looking for more!
Through the events so far, 14 of the event attendees stated that they met at least one new person at the event, so we’re actively building social connections! If you missed it, the featured book was Palaces for the People by Eric Klinenberg. The book introduces the notion that shared spaces can improve our health and happiness, and are vital to communities. The goal of the community book reads is to raise awareness about the concepts and work of the re:TH!NK Social Connectedness Team right here in Winnebago County. Thank you Alana for your work with the Team and taking time to organize the book reads!
Learn more about the book reads here!
re:TH!NK held its annual Legislative Breakfast on Friday, May 3rd. Over 20 elected officials representing school districts, city councils, village boards, law enforcement and state legislators attended the “building relationships for better health” discussing the health impacts of current issues like d
Doug Gieryn, Winnebago County Health Department Director/Health Officer, provided an overview of the five issues before attendees broke out into small groups for some lively conversation.
Thank you to our event planning team, our guest speakers/issue experts, and Leadership Council members who helped made this a successful breakfast! If you want more information about the legislative breakfast, please email us at rethink @ co.winnebago.wi.us
Jackie and Michele are rockstar leaders in the Sacred Heart Neighborhood area of Oshkosh! We first got to know Jackie when she began working with the re:TH!NK Social Connectedness Team to strengthen and build neighborly relationships in their area. As they worked with their neighborhood they learned more about what residents cared about and a specific challenge emerged. They heard concerns about children being able to safely cross Knapp Street on their way to school each day. Residents felt that cars were moving too fast, parking on both sides of the street made drivers seeing children and children seeing cars difficult, and the cross walk was not well defined. Michele, Sacred Heart Neighborhood Association core team member and St. Jude Parish (on Knapp St) staff, connected to the work of the neighborhood and joined Jackie in working to get safer crossing for children going to school and to church functions.
And idea to try out a better, safer, more visible type of crosswalk was imagined in late 2018 and Jackie and Michele have been important members of the project’s planning team since the beginning. They connected with residents and parish members to let them know about the project, called upon local businesses to be a part of the project, engaged youth and students in different tasks, and helped install what became a “pop-up crosswalk” on the corner of 5th Ave and Knapp St. in late April 2019.
We would like to offer a huge shout-out and thank you to leaders like Jackie and Michele for making our community a better place to live, work, and play!