Imagine an elementary school where celebrity chefs demonstrate healthy recipes to students, teachers lead a minute of exercise in the classroom every day and youngsters take part in other physical activities throughout the week.
Or, imagine a campus where sports clinics, dance classes and lessons in exercise science have been incorporated into the curriculum, contributing to students’ impressive academic achievements.
That’s just the daily routine at Cleminson Elementary School in El Monte, Calif., and Terence C. Reilly School No. 7 in Elizabeth, N.J., this year’s recipients of Gold Awards from the Healthy Schools Program of the Alliance for a Healthier Generation.
Former President Bill Clinton recognized the two top schools and 249 others last week at a special ceremony in Little Rock, Ark. Clinton also shared findings showing that the Healthy Schools Program can help schools create healthier campus environments.
The program works with more than 15,000 schools across the country to improve school nutrition and increase physical activity. Research shows that, among schools participating in the program, 56 percent have improved the nutritional value of school meals, 44 percent have improved physical education programs and 58 percent have launched an employee wellness program, so adults could serve as good role models for kids.
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Leaders are people who are actively working - either professionally or as volunteers - to change policies and environments to help children eat better and be more active. We use the following criteria to evaluate whether to approve an applicant for Leader status with the Voices for Healthy Kids Action Center.
Do you meet the criteria below? If so, register as a Leader here. There is no cost to be a Leader.
At least one item must be checked within each of the following two categories:
1. Applicant is focused on changing policies and environments
They are working on one of Voices for Healthy Kid's six issue areas:
Ensure foods and beverages in schools meet dietary guidelines
Expand community access to high quality food
Expand physical activity programs in and out of school
Improve built environment in communities to increase physical activity
Use pricing strategies to promote purchase of healthier foods
Use regulation/policy to reduce youth exposure to unhealthy food marketing
They are working on other obesity-related issues, such as:
Their primary focus is working on individual behavior (e.g., teaching kids about food, play, etc.), but they have access to organizations that could provide opportunities to change environments, such as
Public Health Agencies
Their project is commercial, but contributes positively to changing policies and environments, such as:
2. Applicant is organizing others or contributing to organizing efforts
They are organizing others by:
Providing volunteer opportunities
Building contact lists of supporters to engage in advocacy
They provide support to organizations or leaders doing work changing policies and environments, such as:
They are a leader in a governmental body that may be the target of organizing efforts to change policies and environments, such as a:
Federal or state agency
Mayor or other local executive office
Federal, state, county or local public health department
Federal, state, county or transportation department
Federal, state or local education agency or school board
If the applicant claims to work for an organization, at least one item must be checked below:
3. Applicant works for an organization:
Has an email address that matches the domain of the organization they list
Is listed on the organization website as staff
The Voices for Healthy Kids Action Center is looking for bloggers who can write about issues that matter to our community on a regular basis. If you would like to be considered for this network, please check this box.