A new policy could change health and wellness inside Little Rock schools in a big way.
National Nutrition Month®, celebrated annually to encourage sound eating habits in kids and adults, allows us to reflect on the great progress we’ve made in creating a total culture of health.
For the more than 600 students who attend Broad Avenue Elementary School in Wilmington, CA, each day provides an opportunity to learn lifelong skills—from math and science to health and wellness. As a harbor town with a predominantly Hispanic population and deep roots dating back generations, we rely on our close-knit community to support and bolster these efforts.
National Nutrition Month®, celebrated annually to encourage sound eating habits in kids and adults, allows us to reflect on the great progress we’ve made in creating a total culture of health at our school in hopes of inspiring others to follow suit.
Here are my top three tips to improve wellness at your school:
1. Reward Students for Being Healthy & Kind
One of our favorite new practices is that we now issuing certificates to students who are “caught being healthy” and/or “caught being good.” When students are observed making healthy snack choices or treating peers with respect, we like to acknowledge and positively reinforce that behavior. Once students have collected a total of 20 certificates, they can trade them in for a special (non-food!) prize.
2. Swap Unhealthy Fundraisers for Healthier Alternatives
Every school could benefit from additional funds to enrich the experience of students and staff. At Broad Avenue, we’ve swapped food fundraisers—like selling chocolate bars—for healthier, non-food alternatives such as t-shirt sales, fun runs or school supplies sales. Check out these healthy fundraising ideas from the Alliance for a Healthier Generation for inspiration!
3. Don’t Give Up on Our Future Generation’s Health
In the short term, making healthy changes can be hard. But over time, as more and more people see the impact on kids’ academic achievement and overall well-being, the easier it will get. Eventually, health becomes ingrained into your everyday school environment. Our students are our future generation; we owe it to them to use the valuable time they spend at school to teach healthy habits that will last throughout their lifetime (and hopefully, be passed down to their own children one day!).
These are just a few of the many ways Broad Avenue is getting healthy and shaping the futures of our students and staff. And our hard work is paying off! This fall, we were named one of “America’s Healthiest Schools” by the Alliance for a Healthier Generation for being a nationwide leader in advancing kids’ health. We can’t wait to see what we accomplish next.
Ready to get started on your school’s journey to health? Sign-up for Healthier Generation’s Healthy Schools Program today!
Want to stay up to date with information regarding school wellness? Click here to visit our School Wellness toolkit and to sign up for the Voices for Healthy Kids Action Team!
A new policy could change health and wellness inside Little Rock schools in a big way.
Tisch Food Center’s newest report, "Cooking Outside the Box," shows that the largest school district in the country can turn back the clock and serve fresh, appealing, scratch cooked meals to students! Read on to learn more!
Last week, Healthier Generation announced the 2019 list of America’s Healthiest Schools. Read on to learn more!
As part of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Together for Healthy and Successful Schools initiative, researchers from Health Equity Works at the Washington University in St. Louis created the Healthy Schools Toolkit to support school and district leaders in educating students by tending to their physical and emotional needs as well.
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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.