Friday, May 4, 2018

May 2018

You did it! Another amazing year of healthy schools work in DCSD. Thank you to everyone for making this a year of growth for our program. We had more SHIPS (62), more schools (60), more student classes, and more professional development workshops for district staff. Although we know we can't affect all of DCSD (yet!) there is definitely a positive impact being made. Through this work we have reports that schools are seeing less behavioral issues, less reactionary behavior, decreased stress, and increased movement throughout the day. All of this would not be possible unless it was for people like you who put in the time, passion, and willingness to go above and beyond. Thank you on behalf of the students, families, school communities, and district leadership!!

Grant Opportunities

When you attend a live, virtual discussion, you will be entered to win a $200 Target Gift Card.

Share your Healthy School Success to Build Support:  May 7, 15, 21
Sharing your accomplishments helps build support for the healthy schools goals. We will identify key elements of a success story, practice writing your school's success story, and share multiple communication channels. Can't attend, check out this on-demand video.

What do YOU need? Grab-and-go resources:   May 3, 10, 14, 22, 30
Join us to learn about tools, resources, and expert guidance offered at no-cost. Can't attend, check out this on-demand video.

Schools can receive up to $3500 in grant money towards academic or extra-curricular programs.

September Grant Awards (selected schools will be awarded in September)

  • Submissions open March 1
  • Submissions close August 1
  • All selected schools will be notified by August 15
  • Award ceremony will be held in September

Training Opportunities


Learning 2 Practice- earn money by attending ELC.
Who: Any Certified Staff
What: Certified staff will have the opportunity to submit for up to two stipends of $100 each.
How: Complete the Learning to Practice Form
More information


Kim Bevill Classes

Saturday, May 5.....................Hands-On Strategies *Hybrid 2-3 Credits
(*Hybrid is 1-day onsite + Online)
Sat & Sun, May 19 & 20........Happiness and Gratitude 2-3 Credits
Sat & Sun, June 9 & 10.........Willpower and the Brain 2-3 Credits
Sat & Sun, June 23 & 24.......Motivation and the Brain 2-3 Credits
Sat & Sun, June 30 & July 1..Memory and the Brain 2-3 Credits

Make it a Movement weekend:
Saturday, July 14..................Complex Moves and the Brain NOW! 2 Credits!
Sunday, July 15....................In the Zone:Performance and the Brain 1 Credit
Take BOTH, and use PD Code move75 to receive $75 off In the Zone

Learning & the Brain

neurotip 19.png

As Eric Kandel discovered (and won the Nobel Prize for), to learn something new you need 
repeated training interspersed with periods of rest.” Don’t forget to take frequent relaxation 
breaks during the learning curve. While you rest, mindfully reflect on your goal, desire, and progress. 
Pick a new behavior you’d like to develop right now (i.e., eliminating procrastination, learning 
the skills to be a successful entrepreneur, daily exercise, eating healthier).
Follow these steps:
  • write down the behavior or skill you want to develop;
  • commit to four days of dedication;
  • practice for an hour each day; and
  • rest after each round of practice: breathe deeply, visualize yourself achieving your goal, take a power nap, and then stretch your body.
In the book, In Search of Memory, Kandel explains that the learning circuits in your brain need 
those periods of rest “to establish long-term memory.” But be forewarned: once you’ve taken 
on a new habit or skill, it will fade away after a few weeks if you don’t continue to practice it.


Activity: When students are feeling a little overwhelmed with managing difficult emotions, try this 4, 3, 2, 1 technique from Mindful Schools.

       Thank You Kelli Clay from RHMS for sharing Mindfulness Bingo!

Do 3 minutes of meditation

Practice Yoga or Stretching

Color a Mandala

Participate  In Mindful Eating

Complete the 5 senses Mindfulness Activity

Practice your favorite breathing technique or learn a new one

Listen to music, read a book, or do something relaxing

Drink a bottle of water for good health

Go on a Mindful Walk
Drive to work in silence or Eat lunch in the MOCR (The Quiet Room)
List three things you are grateful for
Do a random act of kindness

How to Relax Muscles with Progressive Muscle Relaxation


I had the privilege of hearing Jean Twenge speak at the Learning & The Brain conference (Thank you DCSD Tuition Reimbursement program). What scientists are learning about the psychological and physiological affects of technology on our children is absolutely fascinating! It's time to educate ourselves and establish boundaries in schools for cell phone usage. I know of two schools, Rocky Heights Middle School and Mountain Ridge Middle School, who are creating new policy around cell phone use on both classrooms and at lunchtime.  Let's learn from these leaders on the effects it has on their students' behaviors, ability to focus, and academic engagement.  Get the conversation going at your school! Let's start planning on Screenagers screenings for 2018/19 school year.

If you are ready to take action now, check these out... Away for the Day... or Hands Free Momma

Physical Activity

In addition to basic classroom use, The Walking Classroom is a great tool to enhance learning opportunities for:

  • Before- or after-school walking clubs: Form a Walking Club where students can burn off some energy (and still learn something!).
  • Small-group classroom stations: Ask a parent volunteer to take rotating groups of 5 or 6 students for a walk.
  • Misbehaving students: Students who are sent to the principal’s office can cool down and refocus their energy with an educational walk around the school before they meet to discuss their behavior.
  • Walking buddies: Have older students take younger students on walks while listening to a podcast.

Thank you all so much for your patience as BOKS transitioned our Website, Trainer Hub, Virtual Training, and Online Registration over to our new look. We're happy to announce that they are all officially live with our new branding! If you haven't seen them yet, be sure to check them out and let us know what you think!


As most of you know, BOKS isn't just a before school program anymore - our multiple curriculum offerings serve before, during and after school and can be utilized by parents, non-profits, and other organizations in addition to schools. We've updated the content and features of our new website to more accurately reflect our program's evolution. This month's Trainer Talk is focused on highlighting some of these exciting digital updates (including new Trainer Hub features).  Thank you!

School Celebrations

Glitter jar fun at Rocky Heights Middle School!

Recipe of the Month!

Fresh Vegetarian Greek Pasta

  • 2-3 large tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • ½ cup Kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
  • ½ cup feta cheese, crumbled
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 1 tablespoon chopped basil
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 pound (uncooked) penne pasta
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 teaspoons garlic, minced
  • If you want to make it less vegetarian, add some chicken, shrimp, or salmon
  1. In a large bowl, combine the chopped tomatoes, olives, feta, spices, salt and pepper. Chill while the pasta is cooking.
  2. In a large pot, add penne pasta to salted, boiling water. Cook according to package directions. Drain.
  3. In the same pot, while pasta is draining, heat the olive oil over medium-low heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 1-2 minutes. Return the pasta to the pot and toss with olive oil mixture.
  4. Add pasta and tomato-olive mixture to a large serving dish and toss until the fresh vegetables are thoroughly mixed with the penne.

Enjoy your summer! We look forward to seeing all of you at our Healthy School Leaders Fall Workshop at the Highlands Ranch Mansion on September 12th, 2018. Until then, reboot, reset, relax!

With mucho gratitude,
Laurie & Kimmy

Thursday, March 8, 2018

March 2018

We believe Healthy Schools work resembles the visual above. Just like tossing a stone into a calm pond, we toss health initiatives (jump rope challenges, kindness olympics, yoga classes for middle school students, mindfulness, and so much more) into schools throughout the district all the time.  There is no doubt that each student is affected in a different way by these initiatives. For some, students bring health and wellness home and share these healthy ideas with their families. In some schools, neighboring teachers hear success in other classrooms and bring it into their own. For some, principals get excited about the work and really support the work.  And sometimes families, parents and siblings are positively affected by the work and they bring it into their worlds outside of the home.  Our philosophy is to impact one student at a time and see what happens next.  So every day when you start with the health and wellness pebble in hand- don't be scared to toss it. If you impact one student it is well worth the toss!

Important Dates in the Healthy Schools World

April 25th (4:30-5:30) Please plan to join us to celebrate the amazing health and wellness efforts that has happened throughout DCSD this year! All Healthy Schools leads will be joining Staff Wellness Super Champs (you might play both those roles at your school) at the Lone Tree Library for some food, year end gifts, and some celebrating!!  You will receive a formal invite at the end of March. 

April 19th, 2018 (all day)  
DCSD Restorative Practices Workshop
The day includes:
• A day at the Highlands Ranch Mansion 
• Breakfast, lunch, and snacks 
                                                                  • Keynote speaker 
                                                              • Restorative Practices 
                                                                     • Break outs 

RSVP now! Limited Space available. 150 participants and 40 paid sub slots available.

April 17th, 2018  Screenagers Movie at Chaparral High School 7PM-8:30 PM  Tickets

Grant Opportunities

Learning to Give

Learning to Give mini-grants are designed to inspire classroom discussion and action toward students using their time, talent, and treasure for the common good. Priority given to those who use social media to share their plans, discuss ideas, and reflect.
Amount: Up to $1,000     Deadlines: February 22 and March 22, 2018

Every Kid Healthy Week

Every Kid Healthy Week shines a spotlight on the link between nutrition, physical activity and learning and recognizes the great efforts schools are doing to improve the health and wellness of their students. Schools will host health fairs, family events, taste tests and more throughout the month of April. Colorado Action for Healthy Kids will provide mini grants to selected schools to assist with their Every Kid Healthy Week celebrations. Contact Stephanie Ekoniak for an application or additional info.
Amount: $100 – $300     DeadlineMarch 14, 2018

Third Wave

Third Wave has funded cutting edge youth-led activism across the United States, and has supported emerging organizations that lack access to philanthropy. Third Wave’s gender justice vision and grantmaking invests in communities and not issue areas: young women of color and trans, intersex, non-binary, gender non-conforming, and queer youth of color. The Mobilize Power Fund is a rapid response fund for gender justice activism, action, and community mobilization.
Amount: Up to $3,000     Deadline: Rolling

Recognize a Healthy Parent

Colorado AFHK is now accepting nominations for our 2018 Parents are the Power Healthy School Hero Awards. If you know a dedicated Colorado parent or family member who deserves to be recognized for his or her efforts to create a healthy school environment, download the nomination form today. Our Colorado award winners will each receive a $500 health and wellness grant for their school. Learn more and read about our 2017 heroes.  Due April 13, 2018

It's time for the Longmont Dairy 24th Annual Poetry Contest!  Invite your students to write about "A Day In The Life of a Farmer".  Entries due March 12, 2018.  Your students' parents can then email the poems to:  Please include their name, grade, school, home address and phone number. Prizes will be awarded by grade/age division.  1st place $60; 2nd place $40; 3rd place $20 (Grade divisions: K-2, 3-5, 6-8 and 9-12).  Winners will have their poems published in the May Mooo News and on the website.  Poems published will include the winner's first name, school and grade.  To see last year's winners go here:

Online Learning Opportunities

Upcoming Webinars
– Wellness: Yoga in the Classroom
– Helping Kids Learn Better with Healthy School Meals
– Wellness: Healthy Snacking
– Reading, Writing, Arithmetic....and Recess
– Wellness: How to Show Your Volunteers They're Valued
– School Digs (or Raising the Bar and Profits with Healthy School Fundraising)

Learn more, register and view archived webinars.


A great way to share mindfulness with students is to teach them how to independently use guided meditation apps. Here are 13 Meditation Apps for Kids with Anxiety

This program is designed for primary grade levels that uses music as a teaching tool for focus and mindfulness. If you have a musical ear or know a colleague, please explore/share Mind Meets Music

If you do not subscribe to BrainFit yet you may want to take a few minutes to look at the content they provide on a regular basis! They have great ideas about foods to consider for optimal brain functioning, along with movement ideas.  Here is a fabulous article on  how to do yoga to fight depression and anxiety.  Maybe a pose or two can help students you work with daily.

3 things to consider if one is feeling anxious...

1. Is it really a threat?
2. Have you done all that can be done to be prepared?
3. Is your mind going in overdrive?

Want to know more, read this article from Greatist. Article of 3 questions about anxiety

Prepping students to be confident when they get to the test? Try this guided visualization to help them see their success before they start! Guided visualization for test stress

You can also try How to Relax Muscles with Progressive Muscle Relaxation

Physical Activity

We are so lucky to have Megan Balfe as part of the Healthy Schools family. Recently Megan created a presentation for the staff at BCE and was kind enough to share it.  This detailed resource provides a plethora of movement videos, activities, and  resources that could convince an skeptic on PA's important role in the classroom. Thank you Megan!  Megan's PA 

With winter weather restricting many programs to the indoors and limiting space, now is a great time to try out BOKS' Yoga and Mindfulness Curriculum Supplement. Launched May 2017, BOKS partnered with Tara Stiles, founder of STRALA Yoga, to provide fun yoga and mindfulness activities to enhance your BOKS class. STRALA Yoga is a revolutionary approach to guiding feeling and movement, which leaves you feeling healthy, creative and happy. The curriculum emphasizes how it's not solely about the yoga poses, but about encouraging your students to connect with themselves and move with minimal stress and effort. With an emphasis on the process, students focus on their energy and feeling good while moving, rather than worry about the results.
We've received some amazing feedback from schools who piloted the program, and would highly recommend giving it a 
try, even if just for a few minutes once a week.

Physical Environment

You may have heard that we have lost our amazing sustainability team here in DCSD due to new positions and new babies.  Until DCSD comes up with a new team, Healthy Schools is here for you to support school gardens, tower gardens, and no idling campaigns. Please keep us in mind and do not hesitate to reach out to us if you need anything, together we will find an answer.  

We heard there was a new milk carton in the cafeteria line up. Have no fear! Nutrition Services double checked with Waste Management to make sure the new milk carton is recyclable. Just empty out the liquid and put in your single stream recycle bin!

School Celebrations


                                                     Soaring Hawk- All School Yoga Day!
 Soaring Hawk- All School Yoga Day!


(OK, it's really more a smoothie)

1 cup spinach
1frozen banana
1/2 cup vanilla yogurt (look for low suagar)
1/2 cup milk (you choose the fat)
1/3 cup packed mint
If time (HA), make that cute kiwi garnish- go for it!

Blend together. Enjoy! If you want to play dangerous, add some whipped cream on it.

Thank you to all for your time completing midyear check-ins.  It was so affirming to hear the wonderful healthy school activities happening all throughout the district. Keep on throwing those healthy pebbles into your schools, impacting one student at a time (and then see what happens).

We are sending out prizes to our BLOG Reader winner on Saint Patty's day- so comment before then!

May your troubles be less and your blessings be more and nothing but happiness comes through the door (Irish blessing).
Laurie & Kimmy